The beginning of a New Year signals a clean slate of opportunities and possibilities for having a “Carveful” New Year. Like a block of wood awaits the heart and hand of creativity to unlock its secrets, so the New Year awaits the carver to carve out a new niche for creativity. That will only happen as hand is put to the carving tool to guide its sharpness into the wood to shape it. Carving is learning by doing and the only way one grows in the carving experience is to carve. “Would be carvers would be carvers if they would carve wood,” has been the WOOD BEE CARVER’S motto born out of the experience of carving for over forty years.
None of us are getting any younger and we lament for not starting to carve earlier in life. Well, today is the rest of our lives, and to make the best of the life we have left, today and every day is the best time to carve more to open up the secrets hidden in the carving experience.
“The hardest part of any project is getting started, but once begun the creative juices flow,” is discovered over and over again. Some say they never have time to carve. A 20 minute a day workout is a good way to get started. For twenty minutes a day see what all can be done with one cutting tool (knife or carving tool) on a piece of wood. The next 20 minute exercises, use different tool each time. One will learn good eye and hand coordination as well as the versatility of what a tool can do. Such exercise lessons will enable the carver to use any tool in the carving process without having to think about what cut to use. Also what happens is that 20 minutes grows into a few hours with a carving project that just pops into the carver’s mind.
Be careful never to brag about being a self-taught carver or someone might say that you have had a fool for a teacher. What is really meant by the term “Self Taught” is how our creative sub consciousness prompts us during the carving process by guiding the carver to make certain cuts to accomplish a desired result.
Self-taught is partnering with the creative subconscious imagination which has a way of teaching what we did not realize was in us or a kind of back door approach to learning. Where does solutions come or pop into one’s head when struggling with a knotting problem? It is the sub conscious that works things out as a problem solver, the artist muse, an inventive imagination, and day dreaming to envision and see the obvious that is often overlooked.
“The more one carves the better one carves,” is also an extension of the creative sub conscious tutoring in the carving process. The more one gives permission to the sub conscious to do its imagination/dreaming, the easier it is to recognize and rely upon our creative side to be active. Ideas for carving projects will multiply along with figuring out how to remove wood in a certain way to accomplish an envisioned idea. Mentally carving is a prelude to actual carving.
Of course relying upon the sub conscious to guide the carving does not eliminate the value of research and study to give mental energy to the sub conscious. Reading carving magazines and books, watching instructional DVD’s and taking hands on classes contribute to being more creative and productive in the carving activity. Equally there is great value in associating with other carvers in carving clubs and participating in carving shows because some of the best learning and encouragement comes through these informal gatherings.
A New Year signals the venture into the unknown of what each day will bring. Move out of the comfort zone of carving the same projects by venturing into the unknown of a challenging project. Every carving project is a learning experience that in essence is a carving practice piece. Relax; carve away without fear of making a mistake because when blazing a trail through the unknown is to find your way as you travel. Some to the better practice mistakes or learning experiences are the ones that open a new path to discoveries of new and fresh innovations in one’s carving diary.
Venture into 2012 with an expectation to be surprised again with the thrill of a sharp tool slicing chips of wood off a block of wood to shape the carving into what the sub conscious imagination has already shaped into possibility. Have a CARVEFUL New Year.