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Ξυλοσύνη – Xylosini

by Nikos Tilkeridis

I love to walk in the forests, watch and smell the ground, the trees, the plants.
Most of all, I love to keep a piece of wood in my hand and try to define its potential.

I was born near to mountains so the woods were a part of our growing. Our toys, the simplest children’s creations from wood you can imagine, were our daily joy.

So, now as an “adult” I am still playing with woods but this time it is in order to make unique lamp lights and objects.

In the carpentry studio, most tools are twice me age.

They are almost all hand-made and repaired by hands that knew how to work, appreciate and respect the tools.

The old carpenter who built everything passed away, leaving everything behind.
Some of them were in order and some others not. I did the same. I did not change anything.

My love from wood is unraveled through the years through memories and feelings. The improvised children’s games in the pine trees of “Korilovos” hill, were I grew up; a cheap set of scrapers and a piece of wood, which my father gave me as a gift in high school; my interviews with artists, years later, as a journalist but also with all sorts of ordinary people, all of them with a great soul, in the most unlikely places all over Greece; the experience of doing a documentary about the great sculptor, Yannoulis Chalepas, and the students of the marble sculpture school in Tinos… I guess all of these (and much more) are to blame! 

Today, my life is shared between the office, researching for TV documentaries and the old, small carpentry studio. At the last one there is a lack of almost everything. Except two things:
The respect of each part of it and the willingness to do something with a lot of care, despite how perfect the result might be. 

Oak, acacia, walnut, cherry, caraway, teak, olive tree  and other woods, Greek marbles and metals are in the studio waiting for an idea and a doubt.
There is never a “winner”.
My risk is to “match” my thoughts and desires with the abilities of my hands
After all, it is much more than a technical process. Failure is frequent and an opportunity for a great lesson. 

Sometimes, when I lack inspiration, I just sit and watch the pieces of wood, listening to music: “Pearl Fishers” from Enrico Caruso or Charlie’s Chaplin Limelight theme. It doesn’t increase the inspiration but it helps me to become a “closer friend” of the carpentry. 

That’s the challenge. To become an inseparable part of what you love.

That’s the point. To became an inseparable part of what you love.

But, the most challenging part is to define the Greek word that I “created”….“Xylosini”.
It is hard to understand, which makes it hard to translate:
“I feel that, this word hides the eternal knowledge, efforts and respect of mankind to the wood”.

Maybe that’s why I call this small exhibition “Xylosini”.
Because I wish, one day, to become a part of it.


Follow Xylosini’s page for more wood and light creations by Nikos Tilkeridis