Posted by: woodbeecarver   in BEE Buzz

                            connect the dots

Remember the old childhood puzzle with random dots jumbled on the page with a number adjacent to each dot? The puzzle was to draw a line from the dot beginning with number 1 to connect with the dot with a number 2 and then number 3, number 4 and so forth until all the dots were connected to reveal a hidden picture.

The activity of carving is very much like a continuous “connect the dots” activity. Whenever a carver completes a carving project it is not the end but rather a beginning to go on to the next carving project. Every carving project is a learning project and can be likened to a “dot” on the puzzle of growing in carving activities. Every carving project is a number associated with a “dot” to be connected to the next “dot.” Connecting the carving dots is to experience “the more one carves the better one carves.” And the “better one carves” is to be challenged to do more challenging carving projects while developing one’s “carving imagination” by always thinking ahead to projects to be carved.

The WOOD BEE CARVER has published this woodcarving blog for several years with the intent to “encourage” through information and instruction on a variety of woodcarving projects and related interests. This intent seeks to encourage carvers to “grow imagination” by beginning to see with the inner eye of creativity the next project to be carved by carving it mentally even before the cutting edge touches the wood. This same imagination will grow to be able to shape a block of wood with the cutting edge guided by that inner creativity that is being nurtured. The cutting edge the WOOD BEE CARVER prefers is the carving knife which is used in almost all the “carving projects” described in this blog. This “knife only” approach to carving is to encourage other carvers to learn and appreciate all that a carving knife can do as well as learn to “slice with the cutting edge.”

Some visitors to this blog lament that there are no videos nor more explanatory step by step tutorials offered for the carving projects displayed. Once again the WOOD BEE CARVER seeks to encourage carvers to exercise their imagination to try to figure out the gaps and missing links in the verbal and pictorial tutorials. If everything is spelled out and demonstrated precisely then there is nothing left for the imagination to imagine and the carver’s creativity has been cheated by not thinking through on their own what needs to be done next. In other words, a carver who relies on videos and step by step descriptions, that carver is only carving another carver’s creativity and never develops one’s own creativity. If a carver only carves another carver’s rough out, one learns that they can only carve from a rough out and never know how to carve their own rough out as the first step in carving their own design and style by developing one’s growing creativity.

Hobo 5 012Hobo 5 013

Connecting the dots is leaning what is between the dots. For example, the WOOD BEE CARVER recommends that every carver should do a twenty minute a day exercise by experimenting with a carving tool making slicing cuts on a block of wood to see what all that tool can do. In other words, learn what each tool can do so that when one is actually carving a project one does not have to think what kind of cut should be made. Sometimes it is those “discoveries by accident” that become the most useful.

Another example of connecting the dots is to do research of any given subject the carver wants to carve so that the carver “knows” the subject from the inside of imagination to the outside of shaping the wood to morph into the mental image. Some of this research will include doing “practice carving” within a twenty minute a day exercise to become familiar with how to shape what one knows about the subject.

Research includes doing searches on the internet by typing in the search box the subject and adding “images” to subject name as in “Human Face Images.” And, another internet search is to type in the search box such things as “drawing the human face images” or “carved human face images” or whatever the subject one is researching. Another search can be done through the Pinterest internet search for subjects. Of course there are the instructional carving books to be read, studied and applied to the research. Knowing the subject is a necessity before one can make an “interpretation” of the subject and add the carver’s signature style.

The line between the dots in this blog includes the subjects contained in the BEE HIVE box in the far right column of this blog. Each of the pdf documents in the BEE HIVE can be printed and are instructional resources used in classes taught by the WOOD BEE CARVER. Additionally the postings that are listed under the categories of “Tu-Tor-Plus” and “Tutorials” are beneficial for encouraging a carver’s imagination to see with the inner eye. Most of the postings listed under the category “Carving Projects” encourage the use of “Observation Technology” to slowly study the “photographic tutorials” by reading between the lines to see what is inside the picture more than just the picture itself.

Snowman Cincerella 022steve brown 001

Connecting the dots include taking of slow and tedious approach of doing the “practice” first rather than trying to hurry up the process. The slow process is to rely upon inner creativity to incubate the carving idea, to allow imagination to work out the next steps by envisioning the project from beginning to end and follow the old maxim “haste makes waste.” Ninety five percent of any carving project is carving the subject to its basic form, or to carve a rough out form of the subject, and then five percent is carving in the details. All too often carvers want to hurry up to carve in the details before there is a proper foundation to receive those details. Details are like putting icing on a cake. Putting icing on a half-baked cake is the same results as trying to carving in the details before there is the proper foundation to receive those details.

The end is always the new beginning. The end of one year begins the next day with a new year. A completed carving signals the opportunity to begin another carving project making the act of carving the journey more than the destination because carvers live to carve again rather than counting the carvings completed. Carving is a “what is” rather than a “what was” experience. Imagination sees “what can be” while carving partners with imagination to carve “what is” by connecting the dots.

Connecting the dots is to connect up with other carvers in a carving club and to offer instruction to a beginning carver. In trying to instruct another, one ends up instructing oneself because explaining to another helps one to come to a better understanding of why and how one does what is being explained. Attending and even better is to participate in a woodcarving show is to connect the dots of the widening horizon of the carving experience.

Remember the first time you saw a “connect the dots” puzzle wondering how those dots could make a picture? The same is true with thinking about carving projects one would like to try. The only way the dots turned into a picture was through the act of connecting the dots with a line drawn from dot to dot. The only way carving projects will become reality is to carve. “The hardest part of any project is getting started, but once begun the creative juices will flow with the joy of carving.” Connecting the dots of carving is to be encouraged by the WOOD BEE CARVER’s motto: “Would be carvers would be carvers if they would carve wood.” The only way one learns is to do it, to draw the line from dot to dot, to slice the cutting edge into the wood, to imagine what can be and then do what is imagined. Then, do it all over again and again and again because the “more one carves the better one carves” and we never will know until we connect the dots.




This entry was posted on Friday, January 1st, 2016 at 9:40 am and is filed under BEE Buzz. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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