Blank | The Daily Post

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

Source: Blank | The Daily Post

Blank: something from which something else is created, raw material, what comes before the product…a piece of firewood perhaps..?

I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to look at firewood in quite the same way again…in some ways I’m reminded of the story that Trautman recounts to Rambo in Thailand..

There was a sculptor. He found this stone, a special stone. He dragged it home and he worked on it for months until he finally finished it. When he was ready he showed it to his friends. They said he had created a great masterpiece, but the sculptor said he hadn’t created anything. The statue was always there, he just chipped away the rough edges.

It’s known as the Full Circle speech and goes on further but it is always this bit that I remember…that an artist, a creator needs good material to work with and that you can never know what may be hidden away with a block of stone or a piece or wood or even a person if you look at it in the right way and with an open mind…

As I slowly work out from the house in tidying up this property, I often uncover chunks or hardwood, mainly rimu and matai, that were dropped to clear the way for the house or, much earlier, for the section of the old State Highway 4 that now forms the driveway after the road was straightened some decades ago. Until now, the fate of such recovered wood has been conversion to heat and light.

About a month or so ago, I picked up a chunk in the woodshed and realised “this is good wood” sowing the seed of “I wonder what I could do with this

Since 2014, I have been applying a ‘teach a man to fish’ philosophy and investing in tools so that I can be relatively independent in doing work around this place. So far, the cottage project has been the major beneficiary and recipient of this philosophy.


Perhaps an unintended consequence of my green journey has been a growing revitalisation of my interest in ‘arty’ things. I ran a couple of these logs through the table saw to see how they came out and how thin I could slice them. At the back of my mind was a thought that perhaps they might form the basis for book covers or something similar…


After some experimentation and confirmation that I could still count to ten, I had a small pile of sliced matai…


I didn’t photograph all the steps but I used two strips to mount another six strips and dedicated a number of night in front of the fire to sanding them smooth and removing all traces of the saw blade. I had intended running this through the saw again to square up the edges but I quite like the way it looks…


To bring out the grain and add some colour, I’ve rubbed a 60/40 mix of meths and linseed oil into the front and back…I’m assuming that I can darken it further but rubbing more of this mix into the wood…?

Still not sure what I’ll do with it but I have enjoyed using tools and my hands to get it this far…from a blank that was little more than a piece of firewood…

Edit…a day later

Someone at work pointed out that I’ve (so far) created a blank from a  blank…if i was sharper I could have done that “see what I did there” thing…