Inspiration for the future Eggplant Board…🍆
Early on inspiration/scheming from January 7, 2015. I want the dishes for the dressing to be similar to those of a painter’s watercolor dish. Also considered the existence of a spoon on the board, but I don’t see a need for one anymore.
Grandpa Sal’s father-in-law’s chisels (three on left). Beautiful addition to my small but growing family of hand tools.
All of this designing began with a specific food retail concept in my mind. Counter or wait staff would bring prepared Avocado Boards to a customer’s table. It would include Avocado halves and the mise en place for a salad dressing of their liking, so the customer has free will to customize a dressing to his or her liking.
But if you wanted to serve Avocado Salad at home, for guests or during a normal family meal, there is no need for salad dressing cups built into the vessel. Nor do you need to show off (read: highlight) the stone, because if you want dressing, you will make it on the counter; if you want to plant an avocado tree, you’ll probably start it in water after dinner.
So there is room in the line for a no-fuss board, one smaller than the commercial size and style. That is below!
Another style for the books, this time a more symmetrical board came to fruition. This board has a live edge, measures more narrow than the other board, and has beautiful spalting - the dark lines of pigmentation coursing through the board from fungi.
From the second batch of wood, trying to repurpose into new blanks for avocado boards.
I went to stump-town in Malibu, in search of some more great avocado wood.
This wood maintains an interesting history, for it was harvested anywhere between 3 and 7 years ago, courtesy of the fire department. Educators and locals who know about this stockpile of wood use it for firewood.
I interacted with a group of educators, making sure it was okay I traversed the near-hiking-trail area with permission. They warned me, to my surprise, of the fact that these piles of dead avocado served perfectly cool hiding places for rattlesnakes. In fact, they assured me there were tons of rattlesnakes that I should be very careful.
But I went to stump-town and came back with some avocado wood booty to fill the wagon up.
This was all free and legal, but I likely won’t be back again. Probably not worth the future risk. Besides, the kids are there trying to revegetate the orchard. Great community news!
Found via Craigslist a Brentwood resident having just chopped down an avocado tree from their property. The stumps were free and already chopped into usable logs and ripe for the picking! Thanks Joel from Brentwood.
Hand-made with Henry Taylor gouges and chisels over 3-4 hours. Drill press (Forstner bit) and milled with band saw, jointer, and planar.
29 Jan 2015
Milled and produced the first set of avocado wood blanks! Now to prototyping…
(Those unique notches and marks are from chainsaw harvesting in the above photograph. It’s something of a nice reminder to learn to find the beauty in human “wreckage”)
This is where I ate before my first Community Woodshop session. I was encumbered with bags upon bags of wood, laptop, cameras, and would walk from here to the woodshop (not far).
I was a little early for the shop to open, so I began designing at the table. Two women next to me suddenly engaged me, asking what exactly I was doing. Secrets! But also I told them. We were a table apart and they had the curiosity, outgoing tendencies, and friendly demeanors that I so cherish.
Chilaquiles, Fresh OJ on the first visit >
BBQ Pulled Pork Hash, Coffee>>
3324 Verdugo Road, Los Angeles, CA 90065
I begin looking for access to some type of woodworking studio, because I realize that being on other people’s time and equipment is hard to do. The type of work, nor the amount of time needed to complete it, is not set in stone yet. I’ve already tapped my buddy Charlie’s dad, Kenny, to help me chainsaw some stumps of Eucalyptus and Cedar. Old high school teammate, peer, and buddy Patrick offered up his grandfather’s watch repair workshop as a space. I needed my own to accomplish - in a short amount of time - the avocado board.
After some research, I found Community Woodshop LA. This is where I needed to be, and so without haste signed up for a safety orientation ($80) and monthly membership ($80).
It’s located in Eagle Rock/Glassell Park among other artist studios and spaces.
The land of opportunities... Below are the cut-down avocado tree stumps outside of Los Angeles from which I harvested the first batch of board blanks. Look at all that potential!
Images taken 24 Jan 2015