The heft and feel of a well-worn handle,
The sight of shavings that curl from a blade;
The logs in the wood pile, the sentiment of huge beams in an old-fashioned house;
The smell of fresh cut timber and the pungent fragrance of burning leaves;
The crackle of kindling and the hiss of burning logs.
Abundant to all the needs of man, how poor the world would be
Without wood.

Everard Hinrichs, quoted by Eric Sloane in A Reverence for Wood


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Great Designs in Wood (14) - "A Light Dance of Wood"

So many of you indicated interest in the Sakyamuni temple piece I posted last month, that perhaps this structure, again brought to my attention by Mr. Jianwei Ren, will be of interest as well. The Hanging Temple of Mt. Heng is even more curious, in that it was built over 50 meters up the side of a sheer 491 A.D.! How and why it got there, and the details of its construction from local hemlock forests, is told in these excellent videos made by CCTV, the Chinese State Television Company.

The really great description of the wood design and technology starts around the 6-minute mark of this first video.

This second segment discusses in detail the engineering detail that has enabled the temple to cling tenaciously to the cliff for over 1500 years, through earthquakes and the burden of time. It contains some amazing detail and great graphics on the physics and placement of the temple on the face of the mountain. This segment also contains interesting detail on the statuary placed in the temple, and the specific requirements they met.

All in all, another amazing story in wood, from that amazing, ancient country on the other side of the world.

1 comment:

James said...

Chuck, I thought of a question concerning you home energy project. Have you already up graded your insulation for the house or is that an issue?

Larry Owen