No matter what I did, something was wrong with the grapevine I was carving. My mentor Warburton took one look and snickered. I decided that as a sign that it was terrible, quite terrible.
He suggested that I knock off for the day and come back to it tomorrow. “But before you go stack and sticker this maple.” That’s what life was like with my off and on mentor. Rather than just telling what was going on, he’d let me think on it until there was an “Ahaaa” moment. No such moment came for the vine leaf. Later that week, I contemplated chucking it. “Don’t do that. Not until you have an idea of what went wrong. You’ll repeat the mistake.”
Warburton took pity on me. He grabbed the carving, walked to his workbench. He shifted the carving around in the bright light. “See how the shadow cast by the sun changes the carving’s appearance. Look for where your work is out of balance. You’ve spent so much time working under light from one source and angle that you can’t see the error in your carving. Use the shadows. Think also in terms of the light where it will be displayed.”
I found the spot that needed fixing and cut away a too heavy bit of vine. It was now balanced.

Thinking back it it sounds like something from Jedi Training Camp: “Use the Shadow”, but it works.

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