Wooden Goods by Jerzy Smoliński

Wooden goods are functional, decorative and artistic objects made of wood. They are handmade from natural raw materials with carpentry tools and equipment.
Wood is a great material utilized in finishes and construction. For ages it has been exploited in building, tool making and production of objects for everyday use as well as decoration. Nowadays there are many ways to process wood such as cutting, planing, milling, turning, chiseling, sculpting and bending.
Wood turning consists of chiseling a piece of raw material with special knives that produce a desired shape. Wood removal requires less force and creates less resistance than metal cutting, hence wider diameters can be achieved in the former than in the latter. However, wood turning might create certain difficulties because the raw material is softer and more delicate to handle, therefore requiring hand finishing rather than a totally automated production. Hand finishing in turn calls for greater turning skills and use of sharper chiseling blades.
Wood working, given the beauty and nobility of the raw material, is very gratifying. The labor of the artisan is enhanced by unusual shapes and knots, as well as distinct colors and aromas that come from a given wood specimen created by Mother Nature.

Pieces created by Mr. Smoliński include a wine container made of ribbed ash with inserts of exotic Okoume wood; a jewelry box made of wild cherry and cherry roots; wine glasses of ribbed ash and birch redpoll with leather elements; a mortar made of a red-tailed Robinia with a pestle of Badoo wood; bowls from oak, ash and walnut; a matero (a vessel for drinking yerba mate) made of ash; platters of pine and ash; ‘kuksy’ made of ash, cherry and red-bellied chickpea; spoons and ladles for pouring honey made of pear, apple, cherry trees and ash, as well as cutting boards made of beech.

Manufacturing Process

Production of a wooden piece starts with an idea for a given product, followed by the procurement of seasoned material. Wood conditioning is a very important process affecting the quality of wood and it can take a few to several years. Choosing the wrong raw material may potentially result in warping and cracking of the final product.
The next step is the initial wood processing in order to get the right size of the piece by cutting, planing, sanding, gluing, milling, drilling, scribing. What follows is chiseling by mounting the element and rotating it in on a spindle lathe. The turner shapes the material into the right form with the help of chiseling blades and a bolster.
Subsequently, the piece is sanded with sanding paper of varying thickness which produces a smooth and even surface. Next is the application of some protective coating. It may consist of different layers of linen oil, coconut oil, or oil and wax pastes.
Mr. Smoliński uses natural preservatives, since his pieces are often used to serve food. Lastly, the product is cleaned with cotton cloth in order to remove excessive protective coating. Finally, the piece is polished with a felt wheel to obtain luster.
This is the end of the elaborate process to create wooden artifacts. What follows is the delivery to the satisfied and happy customer.

Artist: Jerzy Smoliński
Location: Raciąż
Contact: ph. 602 350 417

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