Christmas Ornaments

Tyler decided to get practical in his shop and make wooden Christmas ornaments. First, he planned to make some for our Christmas tree. But, as predicted by me, we didn’t end up getting a Christmas tree (we have a very tiny one I bought last year that I decorate with miniature glass ornaments and bows), so we didn’t have a way to display them.

Then, for some reason, Tyler decided to make enough ornaments to give them as gifts to his students. Now the truth is, there will be a number of teenagers who don’t “understand” the time and detail of a handmade present from their band director. I hope most will understand the care that went into this gift, alas, teenagers are fickle people.

What Tyler did, was take scraps of wood from around our acreage. Pieces that snapped off from when he was chopping wood for his shop stove. Or just from trees we had to take down or that fell down. Which means, all the wood is different. There is black walnut, maple, oak, ash…probably other trees, but I don’t know my dendrology very well. (Yes, I googled that word).

So how did he handcraft ornaments? Tyler cut down the wood and spins it on a spinner thing (not the technical term) to sand it into the right shape. Then he applies an oil to the ornament to protect the wood. This allows the natural grain and color of the wood to show through. Deep dark brown for black walnut. Light blonde for oak. Beautiful swirls of dark grain. They are so unique and interesting. Next a metal ring is added to the top for hanging.

As a person who isn’t very talented with skilled labor, I am so impressed by his creativity and ability to see what a chunk of wood could turn into.

And while the ornaments appear simple and minimalistic they are so much more. They are art. Tyler sees the shape inside a hunk of wood. There are no patterns. No measurements. Just his hands turning the wood into the shape he sees in his head.

I hope he continues to make them so if we have a tree next year, we have a set to decorate our own tree with. And I hope those teenagers appreciate and can see the art inside the minimal. The design inside what appears simple. The care and the time he took to design each one.

And, lastly, I hope you enjoyed your winter holidays!

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