The Soul of a Tree: A Master Woodworkers Reflections by George Nakashima

By George Nakashima

On a farmlike compound close to New desire, Pennsylvania, George Nakashima, his relatives, and fellow wood-workers create beautiful furnishings from richly grained, infrequent trees. Tables, desks, chairs, and cupboards from this easy workshop grace the houses and mansions and government boardrooms of people that prize such excellence. during this lavishly illustrated quantity, George Nakashima permits us in intimate examine his artistry, his philosophy, his existence. it's the portrait of an artisan who strives to discover the suitable use for every plank for you to "create an item of application to guy and, if nature smiles, an item of lasting beauty."

The author's look for the which means of lifestyles took him as a tender guy to Paris, Tokyo, and Pondicherry, India. In India, he discovered the interior peace for which he were looking out and commenced to discover how one can paintings with trees. He writes movingly concerning the grandeur of historic bushes and beautiful figured woods and explains how he selects and prepares his fabrics. particularly, he impresses us together with his devotion to getting to know the inherent great thing about wooden in order that noble bushes may need a moment existence as furnishings. The Soul of a Tree seems on the international during the eyes of an artist and conjures up the enjoyment of dwelling in concord with nature.

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Pataliputra flowered, the Chou spring. The life span of the bristlecone pine of the High Sierras in the Inyo National leafy plant life ends and the snows begin. The baobabs stand apart. Although they are huge, sometimes reaching almost a hundred feet in girth, their ages are obscure, for they do not have annual rings like most trees which grow in temperate climates. ''¦,••: s'v . t Sm^i, or Japanese cedar, or cryptomeria. Long, straight, taut trunks. Very resistant to rot and decay. Temples and shrines, some comparable in scale to the European cathedrals, often had cryptomeria pillars which were dressed to perfect cylinders.

Without this miraculous The pith is the first material to sprout from a seed. It is the soft, spongelike substance in the center of stems and branches of most vascular plants. Sketched here is the early growth of an evergreen H"" from a pine nut. ^ ~ process there would be no flora, no fauna, no man. In each growing season in temperate zones, a tree adds on a layer of wood—a growth ring. If you examine the cross section of a tree trunk, you will see a number of these rings circling the pith. These annual rings vary in width, reflecting changes in rainfall and climatic conditions.

There was no structure or dogma of any kind. It was a collection of men and women of all ages from all parts of the world, which was quite an unusual thing in India at that time. Tamil was the language of the Pondicherry area, but Bengali was also largely spoken at the ashram, since many sadhaks were Bengali. French and English were the most common European languages. " We were of many races, nationalities, creeds and religions, but all were united in a driving quest for an ultimate truth. There was absolute equality and, in a sense, freedom.

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