Sunday, April 26, 2015

Carving in Three Part Harmony

By Bob Ferris

The Bag and Bottle Dryer
Nearly a decade ago I went through a workshop at the Center for Whole Communities in Vermont.  I gained much from my rainy week there, but the thing that has stuck with me most is the spoon carving and the understanding that working with my hands with very sharp knives requires an attention that both calms and centers me.

I am not an accomplished carver.  I am learning but not aspiring because the process is really more important than the product.  I carve (and occasionally bleed) because I am in need of grounding not because magic springs from my knives, gouges or draw shave.

Lately I have worked on two little projects that
Bag and Bottle Dryer detail
by caprice but certainly not design have been made of three pieces of wood from different species of trees taken from different places.  The first is a plastic bag and bottle dryer that was assembled from some driftwood found on a Washington beach near an old whale carcass, a salvaged holly branch from a neighbor’s yard and a multi-pronged bit of juniper from ours.  Nothing special.

Bag and Bottle Tree at work.
The second is a spoon carved out of an ice-killed maple branch married to a tailing of dogwood held together with an oblong ball of holly.  More fun than functional, but who knows.

Maple and dogwood spoon held together
by holly. 
Why the three part harmonies in wood?  I have no idea.  Is it important and meaningful?  Obviously not but maybe yes.

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