Our goal for last Monday was to learn more about the strange and unpredictable traits of our wood. During previous try-outs we had seen how wood tends to break when it dries. To avert this from happening, we tried sand blasting it while it was still wet - this did keep the wood together, but also made it look very rough and uneven.
We went back to Harrie's sandmill in Echteld and the sand blasting studio to look for a solution.
In his sawmill, Harrie cut off some slices of wood ranging between 2 and 12 millimeters.
We drove to the studio to experiment with these different thicknesses - we were curious to see if would have any influence on the coarse finish sand blasting gave to wet wood. We quickly found out it did not.
And furthermore, in a minimum amount of time even the thinnest slices of wood had already found a way to deform - too thin to break, they had managed to bent into a slight curve before we had even touched them.
This called for slightly more extreme measures. We decided to make cuts in the wood to release its tension while drying: out of some discs we cut quarters, in others we made small round holes in the centre. We will wait and observe the woods behaviour during the next few days with baited breath before we make any decisions on what to do next.
Once more it shows that our designs will follow the characteristics of the material: its beautiful qualities, and its unforeseeable ones.