Monday, September 22, 2008

Letting Go

So, I carve a little bit ... well, to be more accurate, I carvED a little bit. I got into it when the kids were very little and there were bits and pieces of time (timedust?) where they were down for a nap, or entranced by Ariel or Belle.

During those moments I could work on a stick for a little bit. It was slow going. A stick might get started and sit for long periods before being picked up again.

When they got a little older it was a mix of opportunity and guilt. If I started carving and they came out to play, I always felt like I should put the stick down and go play too.

Well, mostly always.

Somehow, as the children grew, I managed to knock out sticks with dolphins, seastars, fish, more fish, sharks (fish again), rattlesnakes,redfish (that would be another fish), frogs, seahorses (oh look yet another fish), octopuses (not octopi), and one, but only one Santa cane for my Dad who beat polio at the age of 12.

Over the years, I have given away exactly two ... one to Dad and one to my brother as gifts. One other was made specifically to be auctioned at an FFA fundraiser and it went to, but I always knew it was going away.

About a baker's dozen of canes and sticks sit in the living room and my wife often hints at selling a few, as in, "You should make a bunch of these and take them out to the Cedar Key Art Festival".

I believe that would mean I would have to let them go, right? Therein lies the problem ... letting go.

It takes so long to make one, that I get attached.

Still, I did let one go this week to a dear friend who is a work of art herself. Our 2 daughters are as close as peas in a pod and it feels like we are all family.

She and her family have a business that depends on wood and they have a real appreciation for all things wood.

They are also rabid Florida Gator fans.

So I knew that this gator would find a good home with Ada Marie and I let it go in appreciation for the gift of wood (a cypress mantle) and friendship she has given us.

I'm sure she won't mind if I come to visit it once in a while ... just to keep in touch.


threecollie said...

That is so cool! As you know some of my family members carve and it is a wonderful gift....being able to turn wood into treasure like that.

robin andrea said...

I had forgotten that you carve, fc. A wonderful reminder. It's good to let go of something every now and then, especially if you know it's going to a good home.

Dani said...

Beautiful FC. And such a wonderful gift to your father. To come out on the other side of polio...I imagine he must have many angels looking over him.

Sharon said...

That's beautiful! You are a man of many talents :) My Mom beat polio also.

Emory said...

I am a woodturner and I have to let go of my pieces occasionally. It gives you an opportunity to make more. Also think about how much joy you give people by making something by hand, That is very rare these days. Some of my friends have some of my pieces and those are the only hand made things they have in their house.

Now if you wanted to trade a piece of woodturning for one of your hand made walking sticks :-)

Woodduck said...

I've loved walking sticks for over 50 yrs. now; and yours is so cool.

Last one I made, I put a deer antler base and brow tine for the handle. On the top, where I cut it off the skull, I attached a buffalo nickel.

Got one with a goat horn handle too.

Thanks for showing us yours.

The Troll said...

Very nice. Is it sturdy enough to use to whomp upon a Bayou Bengal?

Go Gators! CHOMP!

SophieMae said...

Outstanding! AbFably radicool! I have a very small collection of canes/sticks. Idano why.. I just love them. Please show us your other creations!

pablo said...

I have a hard time giving away my round rocks.

A neighbor of mine used to make radio-controlled airplanes, including ones with actual jet engines. He said he put so much time and care (and money) into them that he couldn't bring himself to fly them.

Floridacracker said...

I'm always amazed when one turns out so they do seem like gifts to me.

I agree.

I think he was a very tough little boy... and very lucky.

Small world. Such a terrible disease.

Hey wood turning is just about the coolest thing. I have a friend who is a master at it.

Wood duck,
That cane you made sounds very neat.

Oh I think so.

You are inspiring me to start up a new stick.

Too funny but I can relate.
Yes, I thought of you and your round treasures when I was writing this.

Ericka said...

very cool.

i get attached to things too. every time i go to an auction, i think "that'll be my crap one day."

but one of the things i treasure most is the wood chain that my dad carved years ago.

thanks for sharing!

Fire Fox said...

My Dad used to whittle and carve.... everything he did became a treasure, and I'm glad that we have some of his pieces to share within the family now that he's gone. I can remember him trying to show us kids how to whittle, but I don't think any of us were as blessed with the talent as he was! Thanks for sharing and reminding me of those pleasant days...

caroline said...

Love that gator creeping up on your fingers.
I have about a dozen carved wooden animals, all caricatures of sorts, that my husband made for me when we were dating 40 years ago. Budget didn't stretch to flowers and candy, but he is handy with a pocket knife. My daughters get a kick out of them because Daddy once was a romantic, which is hard to believe.
Critters have sure lasted longer than roses or chocolates.
Caroline in South Dakota

edifice rex said...

That is a very nice stick! So you do have artistic ability. I've heard other people say they have trouble letting go of their creations but I guess I got over that. Someone hands me enough cash and I can let go REAL quick. I have made a few pieces that I did want to keep for myself actually, but didn't. Your wife is right though; it might be hard to get enough inventory for a fair but you might sell 2 or 3 through a local gallery and maybe a few smaller items? I'm sure many people would delight in purchasing one of your carvings. People taking such joy in owning my pottery is part of what spurs me to make more.

RG said...

Checking out Florida blogs and this is a nice one.

Drop in over at the W bar E Ranch in Texas sometime.

Adios and happy alligatoring... :-)

Floridacracker said...

Wooden chains are neat and I can understand the special meaning of yours.

If I had a real shop dedicated to this stuff, I think I'd be able to create more and the attachment would lessen.
Your pottery is too good to keep to yourself gal.

Fire Fox,
Welcome to Pure Florida!
Made in the family makes the piece all the more special. Thanks for visiting PF!

Welcome to Pure Florida! I'm a big fan of Texas. I'll drop in and look around.

Doug Taron said...

That's nicely done. My dad is a purveyor of antique walking sticks. I've always really enjoyed the folk art ones. Your gator stick compares favorably. A century hence, they may be considered collectible antiques. I can imagine dealers looking at the finer details and debating whether a particular example is a genuine FC original or a forgery.

billg8tr said...

Dang Dude,
You are good.

Floridacracker said...

Only a century?

Thanks dude.