17 July 2011
There were some left-over logs from the previous owner by the time I was handed-over the farm; Mang Pilô humbly requested if I wouldn't mind that he cut three trees for him to use to build a new house: sangkáp sa báhay, he said. How can I refuse since he's grown these himself? I thought I'll offer to buy him new lumber instead but by the time I told him, the trees by then were beams and 2x2s. And that's how I came about having a couple of stumps; santŏl, dúhat, and in the photo above, muláwin (moláve), prized tropical hardwood.
Anyway, one day, we borrowed the chainsaw from the cooperative (which is impressively monitored by the barangáy) and had this particular muláwin piece cut.
The stockier parts I had squared off to get even blocks of lumber that can be used for pedestals or stools. Meantime, I'm still letting them air-dry for months, maybe even some years before finishing them.
The more irregular section, I had it sliced (above right and below). Now the noise alone of the machine was jarring, and the smell of the petrol and the industrial oil doused to lubricate the chainsaw gave me a headache; yet I hung on to watch since it was really exciting to see how each cut would reveal gorgeous grains, texture, and color; awesome work of nature.
That same afternoon, under the sizzling hot sun, we excitedly laid the pieces out on the grass and designed around them. It's strange that a lot of times, working with nature will often give you its own design solutions.
Now, some muláwin slices make up my pedestrian gate, complete with a let-through to allow us to reach in from the outside and work on the padlock!