08 August 2010

wood carving

I have been carving a burl cut from this great log


and realised just now, in the evening, talking to a friend and trying to describe it, that I have been so preoccupied with the carving that I have failed to photograph it. As burls go it is very big, about 50cm x 80cm, and 25cm deep. Old, complex, dark swirls from fire and - in the swirls - traps of black amber, surely the product of the baking of sap in bushfires. I am endeavouring not to carve out a bowl form but a landcape. The tree washed into our place by violent flood. The burl reveals now, as I carve, shapes which evince the rugged landscape where the tree grew. So I am calling it Forest Escarpment. The form evolves, not defined in advance, shaped by its own natural swirls.

This is a primitive flash photo, I need to use daylight to effect to show the carving, which is up to 10cm deep now, in basins and ravines. This is a pretty poor way to display this, I will do better next day or so.

... and as to quality in the carving of burls, here is some extraordinary work, albeit with very different wood from the type and character of the wood I am working on... it encourages me to seek refinement...