The Storm

In May 2017, the Lake of the Isles had a thicker canopy than it does today.

Sturdy bur oaks lined the northern tip of the lake. Then, a storm hit, taking with it many of these trees. One of them stood in this front yard, at 2217 E Lake of the Isles Parkway.

The storm didn’t quite take the whole thing, so we were left to wonder what to do with this odd protrusion. Cutting it down and hauling away the bits was the obvious solution, but that seemed decidedly boring. Bonfires are fun and all, but this seemed like an opportunity for something bigger.

The tree as it stands today

Then, inspiration struck. Though it is perhaps our greatest symbol of uncertainty, there was no question: this is a pencil.

And now after a few years of dormancy – pandemic, winter, everything – this project is a go.

Cutting will begin in early May, and we are aiming for June 4 for the inaugural sharpening festival. Join us throughout for frequent updates on the process.