Monday, June 22, 2015

Creating a tiny portable room for ancient wood

I'm having a little family time this weekend. And in the process I've witnessed the creation of a little room that is all about an ancient wood from the high mountains of Colorado. This room will soon be taken in pieces to Pittsburgh for the American Association of Woodturners Symposium.

I drove through the Colorado mountains on Thursday. It was great to be back in the high country. There is still a lot of snow in the Collegiates. I was headed for my old stomping grounds in the San Luis Valley.
... and a little reroute was needed as CO-285 was closed for about 35 miles due to flooding. It is the kind of navigational challenge I like and was a little disappointed when I realized I wasn't going to have to go over a high mountain pass on a gravel road. The highway department just rerouted traffic on a couple other highways not impeded by the flooding Platte River.
Bone Mountain Bristlecone is a business started by my sister. Laura married into the Christy family who have spent most of their lives living in rural Colorado. You can read the whole story of this amazing wood on their website HERE. Luke's parents homesteaded a piece of land at 9,000 feet high above the valley in the South San Juan mountains in the 1970s and are still there.

I remember my first visit to their house well. We got there after dark and the last 15 miles from the pavement got progressively harder to manage until high clearance four wheel drive is necessary. The stars were brilliant. There are no lights. Their warm wood cabin embraced me and I was soon eating amazing food cooked on a wood-fired stove.

These are the people who have collected (with permit) bristlecone pine from a mountain that was burned by a forest fire in the 1870s.
The wood stood there weathering for a century before Jim and his family took it home. Now it lives again in beautiful art pieces--tables Jim has made and work of the people they sell the wood to now.
The growth rings on this round are so close together you can't count them.
My sister and her husband are constructing a booth for a trade show and in true Laura Mezoff Christy form, it is both completely modern with its metal siding and rusted metal logo and true to the wood with the bristlecone shelves and piles of lovingly cut wood. It smells amazing.
Freebie "sniffing" pieces... they smell amazing!
I'm off to box some wood and load it in a red Sprinter van.
If you live in Pittsburgh, go visit them at the trade show June 26-28. American Association of Woodturners Symposium.


  1. That sky is amazingly beautiful.

    1. Through the car windshield no less! Colorado has beautiful skies.


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