Every craft has its own language. Recently I’ve been doing woodworking with a friend and I’ve learned the terms flat sawn and quarter sawn. The terms come from how a plank of wood was cut out of a tree and most wooden furniture we have was made out of trees cut in one of these ways. The cut determines the appearance and physical characteristics of the plank but until I worked with it myself I didn’t think about the connection. It is easy to forget that most of the things around us were something else before – even easier when we are surrounded by plastics and molded metals that don’t resemble their initial state.

Wood is different. You can see how it came out of the tree, what type of tree it was, and sometimes how long the tree stood on this earth.