John Talbot

I wanted to make a big salad bowl out of one piece of lumber and I began to look around for some way I could do that. Commercial lumber big enough for bowls doesn’t exist.

It didn’t take long before I realized that tree experts do a lot of business. A lot of what they do is fell trees that have outgrown their environment, so to speak. The trees get so huge they become a hazard. They might drop a limb. They might fall over in a storm and smash down a house.

So people pay tree experts to remove whole mature trees from their properties. An expert with a truck, a chipper, and a couple of chainsaws can keep three or four men busy every day clearing overgrown trees and shrubs. I began to watch those guys more carefully. Pretty soon I began bringing home logs to make bowls.

A tree’s fate around here is to be chipped into mulch and dumped at a recycle center. Bigger logs might get dropped at a firewood yard to be split and stacked for firewood. I could intervene and nobody minded…in fact they would help me load my truck. It seemed easier and a better deal to them to throw the big logs on my truck and have me haul them away than it was for them to buck and split and stack for firewood.

So that’s how I got started. I wanted to see if I could honor the trees of Los Angeles by transforming them into beautiful and useful objects. I noticed that trees from every part of the world grow in Los Angeles. The trees, like the people, are mostly from somewhere else mostly imported by people who think they might do well in Hollywood.
There seems no limit.

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