Working in wood offers the opportunity for lots of contrast and continuity.
For about six years, I made an annual pilgrimage from Massachusetts to Maine to teach marine carving at the WoodenBoat School.
It was a slow day—the type of show where artists and craftspeople spend most of the time talking to each other.
Items like models, patterns and proportional dividers are as important to your carving as sharp gouges and knives.
Two of the best artists I've known were fluid on the choice of media.
Around late October, I put some time aside from whatever projects are ongoing in the shop to work on treen - woodenware.
A twelve-step program for compulsive tool buyers might help. But I have a thing about being away from my tools for meetings. Just taking the time to write this keeps me away from browsing the Lee Valley site, not to mention Rockler, Woodcraft, and Highland Woodworking.
In January, I started what I thought to be a quick project for a portrait of the halibut Schooner Republic. There was not much online where I began, and even less available in terms of print sources. My collection at home also came up dry. I was able to complete the project in March but wished that I had better documentation.
For many years, my constant associate was a large gray cat with attitude issues. Clancy J. Bumps ( with an umlaut over the U) was a feral cat who claimed me while I was living in Ottawa, Ontario in 1969. Clancy entered my life by walking up to my friends and me one day. He looked us over, and choosing me proceeded to climb up my leg, my back, and onto my head. He thereby claimed me as his personal property.
"Now let the tool do the work. The edge is sharp. All you have to do is guide it." That was me to a student at the WoodenBoat School years ago. More recently, sensei said to me, "Lou, the sword is sharp, let it do the cutting. All you have to do is guide it." …