Teigra started out as a piece of pine in the shape of a miniature railroad tie, 26 x 3 x 3″. I picked up four of these pieces of wood from a lumber yard scrap bin in East Hampton, New York, and used them to elevate items off the floor of my studio, which would often flood during hard rains. For years, this piece of wood had the humble job of simply supporting other equipment.
One day, as I was struggling to understand what Lorrie was trying to teach me about working with the grain of the wood, my eyes fell upon the end grain of this piece of pine, and I decided to experiment with carving it to see if I could get the grain to “go with” the forms I was carving.
To my surprise and delight, I found that the grain pattern of this wood is very strong, producing a tiger-stripe effect (hence, the name Teigra). The darker stripes are very hard, while the lighter are very soft, making this piece a real challenge to carve. But what fun would carving be if it wasn’t challenging?