Elm Slices are thinly cut, 16′ x 2′ x 1/4″ pieces of wood with a burlap backing that can stand against a wall, fit in the corner of a room or hang from the ceiling. They are lightweight, solid and easily affixed to any surface. Cut from wet, newly salvaged urban trees, each slice is allowed to change shape as it dries, taking a shape that woodworkers normally try to to avoid. To build the angular stuff that becomes furniture we do everything we can to make and keep wood straight and flat, but these are different.
Each tree’s unique reaction to the subtleties of it’s habitat, the changing directions of grain that come from forces exerted by branches, or a slope, or wind direction create varying densities and internal tensions, and have the potential unfurl a flat piece of freshly cut wood into a dynamic, warping plane that tells a story of topography, like landscapes created by geologic time that are an alternative to the map like information of a board. Ideally, these pieces show an aspect of time that goes beyond the counting of rings, and the marks and coloring of a two dimensional surface. I hope they show the third and forth dimensions of wood’s honest transformation, from living thing, to record of life, when left to it’s own resources and unrestricted by the weight of the lumberyard and the heat of the kiln.