Hewn Logs in the Picture

by Mathieu

The sweet sound of an adze cutting a log’s face, a deft blow of a hammer hitting a chisel and a rooster crying in the background. These are the sounds that surrounds us while working in our shop. I pause for a moment and realize how lucky we are to be doing this for a living.

It’s not always like that and often we have noisy machines running that scare away every living soul nearby. Our jointer-planer, an old but very powerful beast that eats everything you feed it, is so loud that my tinnitus is getting worse by the day. But even then when my eardrums are about to explode I still feel lucky to be able do this work and make things for other people.

I just want to illustrate that there are always two sides to a story as the picture below shows.

back yard

The image was shot by Tony De Ceurt a friend and retired art director. The pictures I usually take are made with my phone and don’t really show any subtle details or better said they don’t radiate the character of our work. You can’t really feel it as you would in real life. In order to communicate that particular feeling you need a photographer who understands the subtleties of capturing an image. Someone who can see the picture before it is shot.

That is what Tony does, his eyes and intuition are trained to capture a scene in a raw image, he then reworks it until the image gives you a very specific and intentional feeling.  A feeling that actually tells you a story behind the picture.

Last week he came by and took some photo’s of our current ongoing project. It is a simple structure but it will have some nice features that I believe are well worth documenting. I can’t wait to see all the pictures and will share some of them here with you.

The image shows three hewn logs set up for joinery and adzing, they are in our backyard which has become an extension of the shop. It’s an interesting combination of things, a Mini Cooper sports car, the typical Flemish brick building style and handcrafted logs turned into beams. I really like what he did with the colors and contrast, it takes me back to the moment it was shot. But this is just one side of the story. It doesn’t show any of the obstacles we encountered during the project. Delays with deliveries of the materials, machines that fail and all the other minor issues that occur on a daily basis in a workshop. With Tony’s pictures we can highlight the bright side of things. That’s what actually matters; the work itself and what it represents.

Since Tony will be documenting more of this project we will have some amazing images of our work. I am sure it will help to give potential clients an idea of what we do. Often it is a challenge to explain how different our work is from general modern day carpentry. These pictures will help tell the story of our craft and the uniqueness of every single project.