When I needed to remove the pecan tree from between the driveways I was a little sad. But in accordance with my beliefs that when one door closes another one always opens, taking down the pecan tree that had given me so many years of shade but was dying and dropping limbs on my cars, was turned into yet another opportunity at 2444 to harvest the wood and make way for the solar power port.
Years after harvesting this tree and storing the pieces, the pecan tree was brought back to life inside and outside of the home.
The cornerstone of the porch
When my carpenter and mentor Kirby Fry said “you need to go to Home Depot and get one more post for the corner of the porch” I thought two things:
1. a perfectly square post would look out of place considering the rest of the house so whimsically natured with reclaimed and reused wood already built in and around the house.
2. this corner post was a corner stone piece of the porch so I felt like it needed some girth and substance.
I remembered the pecan tree I harvested years ago and found in the back yard a roughly chainsaw-chiseled spalted pecan post just the right size.
It still needed some fine tuning. Often times when reusing wood I have to whittle to get to the beauty, to get to the story that the tree is trying to tell — to get to the heart of the matter if you will. So, I lofted it onto a couple of horses and whittled the post with my hand planer, belt sander, and palm sander. As I whittled, a work of art was revealed. In that reveal, I find endless inspiration in the grain and cellular structure of wood. Reused woods tell the best stories.
To take a limb that fell in a storm from my own property, set it on blocks, let it age (spalt) for 3 + years, kind of forget about it then have it there when I needed it most was thoroughly rewarding in ways only possible by intentionally harvesting the wood for repurposing later. It is in this kind of repurposing that I live my passion.
Unique live edge wood work in all three bathrooms
In this time lapse I am hand (electric) plaining the sometimes obtuse nature of live edge planks into a more “square” form. This particular piece was used when I redesigned the sink/vanity in the original bathroom. Every bathroom renovation at 2444 makes great use of the repeating theme by using pecan sourced right here on site. This is partly a result of the larger permaculture “wood lot” design intention as well as my passion as an artist to take what Mother Nature gives us and make not only good but respectful use of her bounty.
Extensively whittled, reuse wood is a theme I have kept with throughout the rehabilitation of this home. The spirit of renewing something old with something reclaimed, in this case harvested and claimed on-site materials that would otherwise have been turned into firewood, has been repeated with much success. I see these slabs and post of pecan harvested right here on this property in Old Comal Town from trees that once produced pecans for a pecan farm as rare jewels that have no equal.
The tree lives on…