Friday

The Carved Headboard





Once upon a time back in the late '80's I carved this headboard for my bed.... The 2" thick pine planks came from a tree that had grown not far from the house, across the brook up on the hill. They had dried for a year and were straight and true.... Now they would be made into a bed....

I was excited to begin.

The planks were glued together on their edges and clamped.... Shaped with a large 5' tall curved section in the center with two shallow curves on either side.... It was for a queen size bed.

When it was dry I drew a design of interwoven vines and flowers on the large center curved section. I used wood carving tools called gouges and an old hunting knife with a curve in the blade to cut out the design. I liked the hunting knife as it kept a keen edge....

It was very time consuming ... but not in a bad way.... rather meditative.... I did have to keep an eye out for the direction that the grain ran.... 'cause if I didn't, my gouges would splinter parts of the wood or they would skip across the plane of the lumber and cut where it shouldn't.... When I had it all carved, I smoothed it with sandpaper in grades that finally arrived at the finest.... I rubbed oil into the thirsty wood... it glistened.... I buffed it with a soft cotton cloth... it gleamed...

I was happy.

Then it was done....

It felt so good when I laid in my bed in a half awake state and rubbed my hands across it.... Soothing....
I knew I had done it with my own hands. It made me feel good to know that...

I thought I would sleep in that bed for the rest of my life.... but I never .... things don't always last as long as you hope.... so cherish every moment....

It and the house it stood in only existed for a short time... only the ashes remain.




* Note:  I only have this photograph because the negative  was  on a roll of my film that was at the Craft school  I was attending at the time... 

10 comments:

Marie Alton said...

Oh Gwen ... that was a phenominal head board! I catch by your comments that it was lost in a fire?! How sad indeed. I am afraid of very few things...but the destructive power of natural forces...fire included...scare me, but because of that I am more careful with them ... especially fire. I don't ever want to experience that devistation. I lost a close childhood friend to fire...saddest funeral I ever endured.

Diane said...

What a beautiful headboard that was! I'm sorry it's gone now. Will you make another some time do you think?

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thanks girls, I appreciate your thoughts, but to tell you the truth I never ever thought of making another. Funny thing that?
John made our headboard this time. It is about 5' tall,made from steel & wood panels. The steel is cut in 5 pointed gothic arches & runs across the top bolted to the lower raised wood panels. on each end is a angle iron post with a point on it from an old hay cutting machine. kinda cool ... really heavy, & feels rather medieval.
I'll have to post some pictures of it sometime. Thanks for checking out my ramblings, I really enjoyed yours, Gwen

Kathy McCreedy said...

Hi Gwen... couldn't help but catch my breath when I read that you carved that headboard... that is incredible! You must be an extremely talented lady and my hat's off to you. It is sad that it is now gone... and thank goodness you have a photo of it. I would love to see a photo of the headboard your husband has made for you... sounds like creativity abounds in your home! K.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi Kathy, I'll try to get a good shot of the "now" bed & post it for sure, Thanks for reminding me!

Robyn said...

Oh no, that is so sad! Such a beautiful headboard.

Morna said...

The carving is gorgeous, the surprise ending, oh my, the lesson is one I keep trying to learn. And not just the enjoy what you have while you have it; nothing lasts forever lesson. Also, the don't put things off, you never know when it may no longer be possible to do that thing you've been putting off.

Isn't it interesting though, that this opened the space for John to make your beautiful bed.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Morna, I really appreciate your view and so true...
The house we had built too.. started in '75 ... always takes longer when you have little money and big ideas and you do it all yourselves...

this was during my other life.. it was a good experience though... I would recommend the whole process to anyone.. It shows what anyone can do when they need something and they put their mind to it ..
Those next few years were my intense quilting phase... I lived for it...


Everyone is so capable of so much.. but they get distracted...

Morna said...

Here I am again - re-visiting the beautiful carved headboard - in awe of the fact that the photograph was allowed to survive - Someday I hope to know more about your life, Gwen. xo

Gwen Buchanan said...

Oh thank you for visiting it again Morna, I can still feel every little groove for the gouges blades left on the surface of the wood.. all smooth but still textured. I just loved touching it as much as creating it. and I see the knife with its curved tip coming to a sharp tip and its handle with its contoured combined circles of thick leather with a metal end..
but that was then and this is now.. memories stay the same tho..