Monday, September 1, 2008

Friends.... and Friends friends

I was talking with a friend last week, who asked me what I had been up to lately, sooo... I told her about the wonderful opportunity I had received to convert some urban trees into flooring for Friends of the Urban Forest. I told her about their Floor Raiser Drive, which has been established to help them raise the necessary funds needed to install the floor... "Friends" is a great asset to our region, not only are they dedicated to restoring and protecting the urban forest, but they're also inspiring and engaging citizens to maintain, plant and protect trees with their Tree Tender program!!

I then began telling her about Tree Vitalize, and the tree stakes that I was making with Rich Haviland the sawyer... when she interrupted me with a

"nooooooo... What have you been working on...?"

Ohhh, I nodded... "working on"...

So, I started telling her all about a new initiative that I was exploring with Wilkinsburg Borough to help them establish their own municipal tree utilization program...

I mentioned that I was working on possibilities for Allegheny Commons on their restoration project, which includes the removal of over 30 ailing trees, along with a ground breaking for the new Carnegie Library, all in the same neighborhood... and, how we're developing plans to promote awareness and unification between the north side and the local design firms, so that they can see how using their own local resources can be beneficial for the environment and the community...

And, lastly, I started talking about the Cemetery Gates project... how we've been able to gather 10–15 artists together to do a show... and how each artist will be incorporating pieces of wood from the Allegheny Cemetery to demonstrate the range of creative possibilities for using the urban forest materials... I told her that we just received a very nice write up about it in the newest Tech Vibe newsletter...

My friend interrupted, again with "Noooo.... not that... what have you been making, working on, creating... Haven't you been creating anything?"

She continued, "Not that I don't care, but I don't want to know about that other stuff... I want to know about YOU... you know... what are you sculpting?"

Well, I began... the Cemetery Gates project is a sculpture show as well as a part of a fund raising event for Friends of the Urban Forest, so I will also be contributing a sculpture of my own...
I have a table that I'm creating from an arborvitae that I found on Penn Avenue, while looking at properties; Then there's Moon Willow Point... a sculpture and bed, which is currently in the drying stage; there's Touched... a sculpture for my brother's family that will be done any day now; and Trinity... a dogwood from Trinity Cathedral; there's some Ohio river drift wood; and finally, Mr. Appleseed... an apple tree that fell in the Regent Square neighborhood.

After my lengthy story, she said, "Well then, you haven't forgotten to keep creating... that's so wonderful!"

I replied, "We are trying to "create" awareness about the amazing diversity of products that we can create from our urban forest ... I have new trees and materials available all the time... maple, elm, oaks, cedars, and sycamore... all of them crying out to have a future other than a dump site or fireplace. Wouldn't you like a piece of furniture, or perhaps a sculpture, for your home or office?

She smiled, and then said, "Show me some possibilities..."

No comments: