at Ingrained Elegance
Recovering and preparing a tree stump is a labor intensive undertaking. These cannot be purchased at a hardware store. Extracting a stump is difficult in that it has tremendous weight from moisture, extending roots, soil and large stones tangled within the root ball. This requires hand work to prevent damaging the roots which may be essential to structural support. The stump is then thoroughly cleaned, debarked and closely inspected for suitability before kiln drying (3 to 8 months).
Wood as found in the forest or river banks is heavy with moisture. During this time fungi and insects begin the process of decomposition. These, as well as any larvae deep within the stump, need to be terminated so as to prevent future growth or hatching in your home. This process is done by heating to a minimum temperature of 145ºF and not by the use of chemicals or pesticides.
Shaping is a critical element in the development phase. Decayed and damaged portions must be removed. Disappointment is not uncommon at this stage due to the discovery that fungal penetration has compromised the piece in an unexpected way. Shaping entails following the stumps contours and lines endeavoring to preserve its natural flow. Sanding is the very tedious process of revealing the “ingrained elegance”. Spalting, burls, fungal and insect influences come to light. Much sanding can only be done by hand when preparing curves and twists of the stump and root ball. Following the fine sanding is the finishing process to preserve and protect this treasure.