More reliquary work. So, the oak was bent, like most natural wood will be. Oak is a heavy dense wood but can have a dry and flaky texture that can split and change shape, especially as it dries. For the base of this artwork I needed a level surface, but also I wanted to stop the bark falling off over the years/centuries. Perhaps that's inevitable, but how can I minimise this?
I could inject glue, but adding more materials can cause more harm than good, as it will introduce new stresses. Generally, the simpler the better. I first cut and stuck a piece of 3mm MDF to the base, this will hold the thing together should it think about flaking. MDF is one of the most stable wood composites, it holds its shape really well. The base still wasn't flat though, that MDF curved inwards to mirror the bend of the oak, which isn't bad, it needs a tight fit to bind it. A second flat piece is needed, and some filling in the gap, so I stuck a second piece on, with wood filler between. Perhaps tile glue might have been a better choice. All fillers have different properties. Some more dense, some contract, some more flexible, some more adhesive. I went for a plain filler, as it was dense and reasonably heavy (for the base of a heavy object, this can be important). After sticking, I had a flat base...
Then I painted the edges of the MDF to mimic the look of the bark. The MDF is recessed a little, so that even if plain black or a neutral hue, it would look okay, this part will hardly be seen, yet, I thought it would be nice to mimic the bark a little. I used acrylic paint and more wood filler to add texture, although this time I used lightweight glass based filler which is less dense and has a foamy texture.
While doing that I stuck the doors together, checking that the paintings fit inside. The edges of these are all rough and uneven. I'll sand them all flat. Sanding the inside is tricky though, or nigh on impossible to get right with my equipment. For this we can set dreams of perfection aside, although there are many decoration opportunities.