The word ‘harvesting’ is just a fancy way of saying ‘choose the best bits’. Before you touch blade to grain, you need to figure out which parts of the wood to use and how you’re going to cut it all up. This sounds dull, but bare with me.
First, lay down the large hunk of oak you bought and mark out the pieces you’re going to need with a wood crayon. Simple. There’s even a crayon involved! Ideally you want to save as much wood as possible without wasting too much (it’s getting less simple). Plus, you want to find the nicest piece of the wood to use. You have seven more pieces to harvest using three boards and one of the ends has a crack that looks strange and it’s already 8pm… You’re exhausted. You feel lied to. You go inside for a cup of tea.
When you return, you have to look at the wood with two different mindsets:
1. How not to waste too much wood (the cheapskate) and…
2. Which areas will produce the best piece of furniture (the artist).
These two fight it out for about an hour and, as always, the artist wins. I don’t know why I even listen to the cheapskate in the first place. I guess she always just comes out the gate strong.
After you win the war between penny-pincher and artist, you slowly realize that it’s not so simple. The word ‘harvest’ has led you to believe this process will be more fruitful. I can get a little OCD when it comes to harvesting. I fret and obsess over ever corner of wood and every interesting knot. Maybe it’s all the tea I drink. Maybe it’s Maybelline. Either way, I enjoy harvesting and i’m not afraid to admit it. Harvesting is where the entire process begins. The beginning is so exciting. It might be time consuming, and you’ll waste hours staring at oak whilst holding a crayon, but it’s important. This detailed process is what makes the final piece so spectacular. If we don’t enjoy the process, then life is just a long line of wasted tea breaks. And I don’t waste tea.