Thursday, December 31, 2009

Beautiful Blackwood

Here are a couple of attempts to show the beauty of Australian Blackwood after I sprayed two coats of de-waxed white shellac this afternoon as a sealer and tie-coat.

Among the many significant milestones to be enjoyed during the building process, this must surely be one of the most satisfying - the ugly duckling is turning into a beautiful swan! There's still a long way to go before the transformation is complete, but it's at this point I tell myself I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and can look ahead eagerly to the end result of my latest collaboration with Mother Nature.

I visited Australia's south-east for the first time last year and was taken aback by just how common Australian blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) is, however, trees yielding wood with the striking figure displayed here are altogether more unusual. The rippled appearance in the grain changes constantly depending on the direction of the light and the angle of view - no photograph can truly do this wood justice! There's little wonder it's become so highly prized in the guitar world both here and abroad for it's looks alone.

Just to demonstrate that its popularity extends beyond guitar enthusiasts, here's a shot of a brushtailed possum who had taken up residence in a blackwood tree next to our overnight camp in Victoria's Tarra-Bulga National Park.

Click on any of the photos for a larger view.