Friday, December 30, 2005
Wood You Have Guessed....
Okay, show and tell time....
In my "spare" time (...imagine if there was such a thing!), I carve wood a little...mostly canes and walking sticks. They tend to have a (surprise) Florida critter theme...often aquatic critters. Lately, I've been pretty busy with remodeling, sitting on my butt blogging, and that Dad thing, so I have only finished one in 2005.
I have a dozen or so sticks and canes completed. They sit in a rod rack in the corner sporting a light coating of dust. Two have left the premises, one Santa cane for my Dad and a redfish hiking staff for my brother. In the corner are sticks with alligators, seahorse ibis, starfish, shark, fish, octopus, and dolphins on them.
In the small barn out back are some works in progress...mostly untouched this year, as well as raw sticks. The wood varies, but it is all from my property and is mostly black cherry and farkleberry (aka sparkleberry). This time of year, I walk the woods looking for branches to cut. The dogs usually tag along , the air is crisp for a change, and there are no bugs! I like that almost as much as the carving. After cutting, the ends are dipped in some scrap paint to slow the drying and prevent "checking". Checking is the splitting of the wood due to uneven drying rates. Once painted, they sit for 6 months to a year before they are ready for carving. Sadly, they sit a lot longer lately, but that's okay, they aren't going anywhere.
I am not going to get all "artsy" on you, but each raw stick has some say over what it becomes. Some are like blank pieces of paper and can become anything, but other sticks "suggest" a possibility due to a unique shape or texture. That's part of the fun.
Besides sticks, I have made a decorative drinking cup ladle thingy from spalted maple (Hick, spalted maple is maple with pretty markings caused by a fungus after the wood died) for the queen and a couple of ...odd knicknacks. My mom has a standing order for a Santa carving... like she has room for one more. She sent me a "How To Carve Santas" book and a little note to remind me. Cute.
I have never tried chainsaw carving, but there's a turkey oak stump out front that I've got my eye on...I thought I saw an alligator in it. Could be fun.
So what do you do when the urge to create hits?
Posted by R.Powers at 11:04 AM