About Jay's Woods:
has been in business since 2006. Jay Ryan the owner and creative
momentum behind Jay’s Woods was born and raised on a farm
in Nebraska. After leaving home he headed out into the great blue
yonder first as a Navy Diver and second working for Scripps Oceanographic
traveling the seven seas.
his travels were far and wide, his heart belongs to Nebraska and
her wide open spaces. In 2004, he moved back to Lincoln, NE where
he set up shop working with a local cabinet maker. Desiring to spread
his creative wings, he set out once again into unknown waters and
started Jay’s Woods.
Ryan’s artistic influences tend to come from the Arts and
Craft Movement at the turn of the century. Looking to Nakashima
and others, Jay creates works that are both linear and organic at
the same time. Jay’s work highlights the natural uniqueness
of the wood which he finds. Frequently making use of waney edges
and spalted maples, Jay’s work remains true to the nature
of the tree from which it came.
Why a mortise and tenon?
Robinson Jeffers wrote that, "surely one always knew that life’s
end is death". Eventually everything fails: you, me , the tree.
the stone, the very air, the sun, presumably all that we know and
all that we don’t. Change is the only constant.
Glue is chemical in nature.
Since we first realized that spit would hold together..., we have
looked for more efficient glues. We humans have become very skilled
at manipulating compounds for all kinds of purposes. We are very
skilled at making glues, and yet most glues that were made a hundred
years ago have failed by now. Modern glues are likely to last longer,
but only slightly longer from the perspective of geologic time.
A weld will fail before the steel that it holds together will rust
away. Similarly, glue that holds wood together will will fail before
the the lignins and the cellular life that is a properly dried tree
desires its own return to the earth.
Screws are made from all kinds
of metals.. Archaeology teaches us that most metals are likely to
last longer as an artifact in the earth than are most woods, but
temperature, a tar pit, an ice age. Not all rules are fast. Whe
wood is screwed together, the grainlines that represent the structure
of the tree are rended apart, rendering the wood weaker as a whole
than it was before.
But wood beats both glue and
screw as its own fastener. Wood can be shaped to interlock with
itself and hold itself together for hundreds of years with no assistance
from its occasional allies either glue or screw. The force, the
very core of this this thing that we call life when it comes from
the dirt and from the sun in the form of a tree is a truly amazing
ally of our own. The forests have been with us since before memory.
They were are only fuel, save the sun, for many thousands of years,
before oil. They have built our houses, bridged our rivers cleaned
our air, they are our partners in this endevour, this time that
we spend on the planet. Most trees would outlive us with ease if
we did not cut so many of them down.
The crafting of something from
wood should be special. Whatever the purpose; be it a home or a
chair, a cradle or a cathedral. Care should be taken, consideration
should be given, when a person has only a hundred years to give,
some portion of your time should probably be given to creating something
that outlives you, the longer the better.