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.
Cite this work
ZiCheng Xu (2016). Singing and Making the Inflection. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/10558