MotC: Lacework in Wood
Hewlett-Packard may not be known for producing world-class woodworkers, but they can claim at least partial credit for Frenchman Pascal Oudet, an electrical engineer who began his career designing computer motherboards for H-P in 1998. Oudet discovered that one of the perks of the job was access to a large, local woodshop. While many of his colleagues were climbing the Alps in their off-hours, Oudet began spending more and more of his free time doing woodwork. A few years down the road he was so hooked on the lathe that he scaled back his electrical engineering job to part time so he could devote more time to turning.
What Oudet has gone on to do in wood may not be as mysterious as nanotechnology, but it may strain a woodworker’s credulity. Starting with chainsawn hunks of green European oak, Oudet turns wafer-thin disks-some three feet in diameter-and vessels and tubular pieces with walls just 2mm (a little more than 1/16 in.) thick.
Oudet’s pieces reveal the anatomy of the oak. By turning them so thin and then sandblasting them until he has scoured away the softer spring growth rings, he creates pieces composed solely of the wood’s harder summer growth rings and medullary rays.
This audio slideshow presents a bounty of Oudet’s extraordinary pieces as well as photos of the process he uses to make them.