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Foggy Forest
The Process

The Idea

The Carving

The Wood

The Silicone Mold

The Collection

I wanted to leave something of me behind when I leave the planet. That has been an ongoing theme in my life and it would develop a need for me to develop my creativity in some way. I wanted to leave something as a small statement, that I had had a life and am leaving something of value behind. Something beautiful and visual that can be enjoyed for years, decades or centuries to come. The question became - - What could I create? I was not a composer, I was not a developed artist, I enjoyed writing, but with English being my second language I did not feel qualified to author a memorable book.  (That proved to be quite wrong when I published my first two children’s Books.)

I had a passionate love for the natural world and would pursue this further. I studied wood carving and after many years felt qualified to render birds, insects and larger animals in the wood. Hours became days and days became weeks and months and studying with a Canadian Master Carver I was satisfied that I had sufficient skill to render my beautiful small creature friends in wood. Some pieces might take 5 -6 hours, others five-six days or weeks and even months. Nevertheless, I persisted and my collection grew as did the collectors who wanted my originals. As a consequence, I could only offer very few original carvings. 

The idea came that if I were to take the original carving and make my own high-quality Silicone mould, then I could cast a perfect reproduction of the original in a very dense rock-like plaster. The early results were already promising as when the cured Gypsum was hand-burnished, it looked like a carved bone!  The castings were mounted on artists' board and framed in a square frame with a circular opening closed over with a round domed glass to display the carving. With the art mounted on Museum

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quality artists' boards and providing archival mounting, the art will be preserved for a lifetime. 

Each casting is hand-cast and oven cured to render a perfect duplicate of the original hand-carved piece. In this manner, many more people can collect these lovely representations of the wildlife that surrounds our daily lives.

Giving rise to an idea for a carving like any creative pursuit, can be a daunting experience. Whether you’re an Author, a Painter or any other creative project, it has to begin with an idea! 

How does an artist generate an idea for a carving subject? Almost all of my inspiration comes from the natural world and I am equally delighted by all creatures, large or small. A small Hummingbird is incredibly beautiful as is North America’s largest deer, the Moose. The fragility of a small Butterfly must convey that delicate fragility in the carving in addition to the startling beauty of its design. The power and size of the Moose must also be expressed. The final piece may take days or weeks to complete and once completed, the wood must be sealed with a durable finish and left to cure in preparation for casting a mold. The sealing and painting process must not lose or diminish any of the fine details of the hand-carved original.

It seems a simple item - a slice of wood between 3/8” and 1/2” in thickness. Yet that slice of wood has been selected for certain important characteristics. Its grain and direction of growth lines are taken into account. It’s hardness, softness and its ability to hold detail and how well it will burnish. It must be able to be cut with carving knives and respond suitably to small diamond, ruby and steel burrs. Cutting and carving tools demand an understanding of the characteristics of the wood and its suitability to a certain subject. 

This is another complex series of steps where carefully measured amounts of Silicone and catalyst are mixed in a stainless steel container and placed in a vacuum chamber to remove the entrapped air. The degassed Silicone is poured over the carving and left to cure for 72 hours during which it is further cured in an oven at precise temperature and duration. This cured Silicone mold can then be used to cast an exact plaster duplicate of the original carving. 

Many of the items of the collection were carved for the purpose of casting molds for a line of Gift-Chocolate Confections and was conceived by Carver and Artist Cornelis A. Boon  who, along with business partner Henry Noestheden an accomplished Artist, founded Dutch Boys Chocolate of Kingsville, Ontario, Canada.  The website shows many beautiful chocolate medallions in pure Belgian Dark Chocolate. Dutch Boys Chocolate is now under new ownership and continues to offer the highest quality chocolate confections having been awarded ‘Best Chocolate in Canada in 2017.’ All confections can be ordered on-line to make beautiful and thoughtful gifts enjoyed by everyon


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