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Forest Path
Is it Art or Craft?
How long does it take to carve one piece?

Is it Art or Craft?


Every artist has to be an exceptional craftsman. That’s a given. Is it Art? or is it Craft? Is it both?It doesn’t matter and it’s not for me to decide, others will decide where it fits.  What is important is the Idea behind the carving and that I make the offering - - - and therein lies the answer for what adds value to my work. 

How long does it  take to carve one piece?


One piece may take 6-7 hours where another piece may take 6-7 weeks or even months!  It depends on the complexity of the design of the piece as well as the amount of detailI want to include.

What is your favourite wood to carve?


All wood is wonderful and all wood is different from one species to the next. The wood I choose depends on the purpose that the carving is to serve.  For my Series Field & Forest, I chose to carve Basswood.  A nice wood from the Deciduous Linden family of trees - the genus tilla. In North America the tree is normally called a Basswood tree.   The Linden trees, and Basswood trees are different in several ways, including their growing zones, height at maturity, uses, and growth rates. 


For a collector piece or a Competitive Carving I may choose Tupelo Gum and for Shorebirds I may use  Jelutong, a type of open-grained  Malaysian Mahogany. Red cedar makes a good traditional reproduction ‘Gunning Decoy.’




Where do you get your ideas for a carving?


Ideas come from being observant on my wanderings in the woods and forests. I look closely at the small creatures I encounter as well as small and beautiful plants, Once the idea begins to form the work really begins as you need to decide on the pose and position of the creature.  Is it standing or sitting or flying or swimming or - — ?  Is it aggressive, alert or passive? Is it hunting or resting and more.  


My encounter with a Massassauga Rattle Snake was memorable as it had slipped unseen underneath the floor of our tent.  That’s when my daughter asked what is that noise she was hearing.  I quickly lifted the corner of our tent, there it was!  Incredibly beautiful and letting us know it was there.  We moved the snake gently some distance away and everyone was happy by the encounter. My daughter and I felt honoured to have had this very unique and rare opportunity.


As an artist one needs always to be aware of the idea.  Will the work catch the viewers attention? Will the viewer stop and have a longer look?   Does the creature in the carving have an attitude? Is it hunting or sleeping or resting?   These are all attitudes that the artist needs to be aware of and then can he/she  create that arresting moment that engages the viewer.  It’s a complex process that artists struggle with from the very beginning of committing something (the idea) to canvas, wood or paper or other medium.

Wha is yourfavourite wood to carve?
Where do you get your ideas for carving?
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