Singing and Making the Inflection
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In my left hand I hold a thin piece of scrap wood about the length of my forearm. In my right hand, a chisel-ground knife called a kiridashi. I push the knife into the wood, and I observe the shaving extend out and curl outward. This thesis is simultaneously a search of the meaning in that inflection initiated in wood, and an exploration of a way to continue that inflection. As I continue working the inflection of curling wood, I begin a process of making. First whittling pieces of wood, then making spoons and bowls, then making carving tools, then making copper-working tools, then making copper bowls and dishes, and finally renovating a tea pavilion which I built several years before. However, I am interested not so much in the process of making as I am in the process of remaking. As I carve the recess of a bowl, or hammer a curve into the cutting edge of an adze iron, I am not investigating the making of that object in isolation, but instead interpret the act of making that particular thing as an act of remaking the original inflection I first observed in a curling shaving of wood. I owe the conviction and patience needed for this thesis greatly to my studies in music. It prepared me for the slow and intuitive process of remaking.
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ZiCheng Xu (2016). Singing and Making the Inflection. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/10558