I would like to share a conversation that I feel privileged to have just had with a gentleman far, far away. Across the Atlantic, SwittersB is a celebrated master of the blogosphere. For some time now, I have enjoyed being inspired by his often deep, sometimes humorous and always well pitched blogposts. Tonight it was all about wood. After my comment on a picture he’d posted of his Uncle Felix’s craftsmanship that has not only stood the test of time – it actually seems to have improved with age, Mr. S kindly wrote the following back to me:
Stunning workmanship – your Uncle Felix is so talented. Wood has such a phenomenal grace to it. What floors me is that every piece comes from the air that we breathe, from the process that provides our oxygen! Bravo Mother Nature – we salute you!
I so agree. Right now I have a stack of odds and ends of scrap lumber from a renovation project. The tradesmen left it all behind. I have culled out pieces I may have a use for. I have posted in Craigslist 5 times for free lumber and not one taker. Today a drop box arrived and it will go into the box and in some form of fashion be returned to the earth. But it seems wrong as my Uncle, my Dad, my father in law now loved wood. Something vital about it and I respect those that can work with it.
His words make me think… In the hustle and bustle of our busy, whizzy modern lives, most of us hardly have time to stop and speak to each other face to face, let alone spend time catching up with our inner thoughts. Perhaps that is why once in a blue moon I love to make time for an ancient art that is so simple, yet our grandfathers and their fathers would laugh and possibly even cry to think that only a handful of youngsters could name it if they saw it: Whittling.
All one needs is a little blade and a piece of wood. A measure of patience maybe. A serving or two of imagination. A genuine love of wood. The ability to marvel at nature while you work…
I made this mouse out of a tiny block of birch for my nephew a few years back:
Different wood has different character – do you like cherries?
This helps the imagination:
Hours of contemplation and a good deal of sanding, plus a slick of olive oil:
The end result:
Thank you for reading as always – please return soon.