Humans have a very long and very beneficial relationship with wood stretching back thousands of years. Overall wood has been an abundant and renewable resource for fueling our fires, making tools, building shelters, inventing vehicles for land, sea, and air, and ultimately too as a media for artistic expression in architecture, sculpture, and furnishings. All through human history wood has been there traveling along with us, deeply integrated into our lives, and supporting, enabling, and encouraging our progress. These things by themselves make wood an interesting and engaging material for me as a designer and craftsman.
But my appreciation for wood goes farther. I think of wood as a profound expression of the unity of the natural world. The tree marks the passing of seasons on its growth rings, recording an indelible trace of the sky’s gifts of rain, air, and sunshine, and the earth’s gifts of nutrients and support. When we harvest the wood, and cut it into lumber, the growth rings are transformed into the stunning appearance of the wood’s grain and color. The tree as a living thing has painted upon itself the swirl and dance of time as the earth spins and revolves around the sun, and it is beautiful. When I lend my eyes and hands to the crafting of wood, I have a reverence for it as truly “of the earth” in this very meaningful way. That is why we named our company “Terrae.” “Terrae” is the Latin word meaning “of the earth.”
So, next time you find yourself staring in amazement at the beauty of wood grain and color, remember also that wood has a rich history with mankind. It is a wonderful expression of both life and time on earth, and of the unity of all things in the cosmos. It is a true gift of nature.