Friday, October 31, 2008
Shadows on Wood / Context and Content
Here's the finished carving "the innkeeper". I love how the sunlight gives full play to the range of textures and also extends the sculpture beyond its physical boundaries into the realm of shadows. These carvings are meditations on emotional states of being as well as a working meditation on the nature of wood.
What does the wood want to do/be? Douglas fir is a coarse wood. I raise the grain further by torching it and brushing with a brass brush. The veneer relief tree and horse silhouettes are cedar, with a finer grain. Knot holes, checking in the wood are all OK. In fact this work was inspired by the big knot that forms the halo behind her head. It's hard to see, but at its center is a split that forms a perfect cross. A cross, a circle, a Madonna, I had to make this piece! The wood told me what it wanted to be.
The shrine's little roof is a good example of the way I'm working the wood. It is just big enough to give the idea of shelter. Split from a single block of fir, one side has a rise, the other has a depression. The two halves make a whole that your mind doesn't initially perceive but your hands and body sense and know as true.
Raining today, perfect for staying inside and working on a new carving.