One afternoon as I was working outdoors, I suddenly heard the brattling sound of a chainsaw. It seemed like it was coming from my neighbor's, so I looked over the fence to see what was going on.
I saw some workers, and they were taking down his Talisay tree.
I don't like seeing trees being cut down. I think trees are beautiful and bounteous, and unlike us humans, they never boast about their beauty or generosity. But this was my neighbor's tree so I thought it best to mind my own business and go back to work.
The next day, the entire tree had been cut down to sections. Not wanting to see the whole tree go to waste, I asked the workers if I could have one of the sections, and if they could cut it into three thick stumps with their chainsaw. They said yes and I gratefully took them and set them aside.
A few weeks later as I was mulling my next piece, one stump got my imagination fired up because it looked very much like... a thought bubble! Eureka-- A lightbulb went on in my head!
The stump was nine inches thick, and weighed more than 30 pounds so it took me a week just to hollow it out. First with a drill, then with my chisels (it's lighter now). For every layer I removed, I had to flip the stump over to do the same thing to the other side. As I did this over and over again, I got a good look at all the scars that had been left behind by the chainsaw, and now by my chisels.
I thought of concealing the scars with putty, but then I had another eureka moment where the ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi came to mind-- a method of fixing and preserving broken pottery by using tree sap dusted with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, to rejoin the broken pieces and emphasize the cracks.
The philosophy behind Kintsugi is mind blowing -- the cracks, the imperfections, the scars, they all tell a story, so why hide them? Highlight them instead.
So I turned the stump into a piece I call, 'Eureka'--a sculptural lighting fixture with a dimmer. And in the spirit of Kintsugi, I retained all the scars that we humans and our chainsaws leave behind, and highlighted the cuts made by my chisels with gold leaf. This is my way of paying tribute to a felled tree, and giving a part of it a new existence.
Life may not be perfect, we get knocked down, and cut down all the time. But life is beautiful despite all of its imperfections, and our scars tell that story.
Treated talisay (tropical almond) wood, composite gold leaf, PHILIPS classic design 7 watt dimmable LED bulb (220V) with rotary dimmer
22in x 8.5in x 16.5in
15.3 kg (33.8 lbs)
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