Monday, November 15, 2010

I like wood. I like it a lot. I appreciate the various wood in my life, from the stands of hemlock, oaks and maples in my yard, to the wood inside my home, to the instruments I play, to the wood inside a car. I don’t want to see it everywhere, but I want to see it.

While there is much wood in my home, I am not the sort who would want to see every floor, wall, door, window casing and stick of furniture in wood with the grain revealed. Too much for me. I do enjoy, though, my oak floors (though my favorites were fir floors in a former home), maple cabinets, and even the birch-veneered IKEA furniture. I like wooden baseball bats, and I swear a preferred (when I played tennis) a wooden tennis racket to any composite or metal. There are places I don’t want to see wood, however, like a bathroom, and wooden cutting boards give me the creeps.

Playing an instrument like the cello gives you a different perspective on wood. To spend so much time with so much of your body connected to all that wood really makes you rather intimate with it. I love all the wood on those instruments, from the rosewood used on pegs and tailpieces, to the ebony fingerboards, the spruce of the top, and most of all the maple used for the back, ribs, neck and scroll. Here is the back of a cello made by a friend of mine, luthier Gary Davis. Even if the exquisite shape doesn’t turn you on, how can anyone resist the beauty of that flaming maple?

In the previous post I complained about the “wood” in the 2011 9-5. Saab could have and should have done better. Consider a 1990’s 9000 with a wood dash. To my eyes, this wood compliments the colors and textures found in the rest of the interior, and amplifies the luxury and beauty of the interior. The particular hue and grain are a favorite of mine, but this is not to say that Saab couldn’t find a different look for the 9-5 that would be just as complimentary and attractive.

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