Starting with a tree is quite different from starting with a board. The wildness lives on in the wood. And the will of the maker is partnered up with the genius of the tree.
In the ordinary process of transforming wood from first to second nature, that is, from tree to board, its wildness is domesticated. The power of the rectangular prism, which is the power of all simple geometric shapes, reduces the character of the wood to surface ornament. This power is so reliable in our work as makers of things, that it goes for the most part unnoticed.
In times past the creation of such shapes required a precision that was heroic; now precision rolls off the assembly lines at 50,000 copies a day and two cents apiece. Suddenly the hard-won world of second nature, which was precariously wrought with such force and anguish over untold millennia, is so pervasive as to be inescapable. First nature in this world becomes decorative, sentimentalized--rustic furniture in a Manhattan loft.
In a condition of simultaneous contrast, the Raw and Cooked Project attempts the union of the two. Is it possible to make coherence this way? Can the objects so made transcend pastiche and become things?