Our Mutual Friend

In woodworking, we are in the midst of life, Dave Roberts reflects – as long as we don’t inhale

If Mr. Dickens worked beside an open fire, then his last complete novel, Our Mutual Friend, is – whatever its better points – one CO detector short of being an enjoyable read. It is a story of death and changed identities that is as dark as a moonless River Thames, which threads itself through the book, and as morbid as carbon monoxide poisoning. On the other hand, it is also a story of renewal, a theme that may chime with The Old Vic’ – which almost stands within the morning shadow of its church’s steeple – but which is at the very heart of woodworking,

whose methods and medium have remarkable powers of renewal. “Even when it is felled,” said Donald Culross Peattie in his book, American Heartwood, “it but enters on a new kind of life. Sawn and seasoned andfinished, it lays bare the hidden beauty of its heart, in figures and grains more lovely than the most premeditated design. It is stronger, now, than it was in the living tree, and may bear great strains and take many shapes” – including the bluecollar shapes withwhich I’m presently occupied, doors.

 


 

Read the full article in Good Woodworking July 2017

For more great articles subscribe to Good Woodworking today