Art is a vital form of human expression, some would say the highest. It's how we communicate our passions, our imaginations, our dreams. We use any resources that will best help us to shape those dreams, sometimes whatever is at hand, and yet we're fairly set in our idea of what those materials should be.
For the paintings that fire our imagination we critique the hand that held the brush, the play of light and shadow and the artist's ability to evoke an emotion. The jewels we admire are most often prized for their total and utter lack of character or inclusion; a beautiful crystalline abyss. Marble, and stone too, are generally appreciated for the hand that shaped them and has a comforting air of permanence. The warm, living, flowing lines of wood are drawn by nature and when used not for function but for artistic purposes it can speak to us in a very special way.
The finite nature of a tree's existence more closely mirrors our own than cold stone or gems that have been millions of years in the making, buried in darkness: We live, we grow. We rejoice in the simple pleasure of the warm sun on our face, a cool breeze flowing through our limbs. When we pass we can be remembered for a time by those who cherish the memory. Just as your chair will pass through generations, engendering cherished memories even as it helps to create new ones.
There are up to one hundred thousand species of trees on this wondrous little planet of ours. The very foundation of our lives has never been of bedrock, but wood. Trees provide shade and shelter, timber for construction, fuel for heating and cooking, and fruit for food among its many uses.
Going beneath the bark is where we encounter a whole new world of color and form, waiting to see the light.