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© 2019 by Salem Barker.  All Rights Reserved.

Wood Electrification

November 2, 2015

A friend recently shared a short youtube video on my Facebook page that kept me pondering a new concept for days..  The video was of a pine wood board having electrical alligator clamps attached at each end, with electricity traveling through wood, burning a dendrite-like path as the electrons sought the path of least resistance in the wood. The product was a black lightning impression on the surface. Wood is a natural insulator, a poor conductor of electricity. The wood is made conductive with a mineral solution mixed with water. 

I pondered and experimented with the concept for weeks until I felt I could control the travel of these electrons confidently enough to attempt it on a finished sculpture.

Many variable had to be tackled;, what voltages are needed, is the wood's integrity compromised,  how does the electrical conductivity change the impression when traveling across different grain structures (end grain, side grain, open grain), what mineral solutions work best, can I get electrocuted doing this?

The product is the most exciting thing I've seen in wood since stone inlaying, and I am proud to be the first to introduce it to the world of high-end wood art.

My first product is a 24 inch tall piece of cherry wood, and will debut at this year's Holiday Art Fair at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

 

 

 

 

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