HAZEL PARK, Mich. (FOX 2) - Is it a sink or is it art? Does it belong in your bathroom or in a museum?
For $10,000, you can decide.
That's the offer that James Woods has on the table - or bathroom counter if you will. That's because eight years ago, the tradesman cut down a cherry tree. After finishing the job and cradling a section of the trunk, he heard a voice in his head whisper.
“It said 'sink,' and I wasn't going to question it,” Woods said. “I just did what I know.”
The tree sat unmoved for seven years. Then in 2018, Woods finally answered the ominous voice with an oddly specific request, and spent an estimated 700 hours measuring, sawing, drilling and “epoxying the sh** out of the thing.”
The final product is something out of the modern art wing of the Detroit Institute of Art, or maybe a millionaire's log cabin on the shores of Lake Michigan.
The section of wood used for the sink most likely came from where the trunk forked into two sections of the tree. One half of the fixture is a flat counter while the other is the bay. Snaking between the two halves is a collection of pebbles, agates and a chunk of sulfur which sit suspended in more epoxy.
But it's more than a sink: Hanging off of a section of the wood that protrudes out is a towel rack. While the sink has been modified so it can be bolted into the wall, it also comes with a branch that also acts as a decorative stilt for the bay.
“I just combined cutting trees with the plumbing work that I do,” said Woods.
Ironically, the 54-year-old Hazel Park native isn't a woodworker. Prior to crafting the decorative installation, he knew himself as a handyman adept at plumbing and electrical work. With decades of experience in the trades, it may come as a surprise that Woods' sink is the first piece of art he's cut from wood.
But, like so many other peculiar projects he's tackled, from the 1986 Ford Ranger chassis sitting in his garage to the tooth brush holder he is still welding, he just 'did it.'
“I know I'm smart and I can do a lot of different things,” he said. “You need a boiler put in your house, I can put a boiler in. You need a furnace fixed, I can fix a furnace. You need electrical done, I can do that.”
When James showed his brother, his sibling expressed admiration. But when he announced the $10,000 price tag he was charging for the sink, he was met with rebuke.
“He laughed at me, saying 'I bet you won't get $800 dollars for it,'” James recalls his brother saying. “That hurt.”
But that reception might be isolated. He's heard positive feedback from many others who have seen his newest creation. Comment boards and Facebook groups where he's shared his sink-for-sale post have been met with acclaim and praise. One woman from Australia even expressed interest in buying the thing.
Woods said his latest craft is priceless to him but with household expenses mounting, he sees better uses for the sink.
“This house needs a new roof, the foundation is bad, my teeth are bad,” he said. “I'd go more than 10 (thousand) if I could.”
For anyone interested in matching Woods' offer, you can contact him through his Facebook here.