Posted by: woodbeecarver   in General

NEW YEAR’S BLANK BLOCK OF WOODThis blank block of wood symbolizes the beginning of a new year filled with unknown possibilities.  Every carving project begins in a new block of wood that awaits the carver’s tools of inspiration, creative ideas and ability to try. 

Even with the best  plan, pattern or idea, as the carving project continues there are creative changes that occur to add serendipity discoveries. The carver approaches the new carving project with hope and anxiousness allowing hope to overcome doubt  and thus experience  possibility.

A New Year and a block of wood await our imagination to try by going into the great unknown with a confidence that no matter what comes, we can and we will carve a niche of happy optimism.

Carvers have experienced almost with every carving project that at the beginning stages of the project there is a pessimism that the project is not developing or is headed for a mess.  But as the carving continues, the carver experiences a serendipity of optimism that sees a creation of beauty coming out of the mess.

I often say, “Woodcarving is agony and ecstasy.  But ecstasy always follows the agony” by which I mean that if we keep at it, be it carving or life, out of the struggle and agony there will come an ecstasy of optimism that recognizes that beauty comes out of the struggle.

The saddest words ever spoken are “It might have been,” uttered by those who never tried or never got around to doing their good intentions.  Wood carvers should ask themselves why they have so many carving projects waiting to be carved.  Is the answer one of not trying, of waiting until things are just right or of being afraid one will mess up?

Woodcarving is something we learn by doing and if in the doing a mistake happens, so be it, since a mistake is only a learning experience.  Some of life’s greatest discoveries have been found in mistakes.  Relax, carve the blank block of wood remembering that it is only wood, a learning piece that will come out so much better than one may think at the beginning of the “agony” stage of carving.  “Ecstasy” will come so be adventurous and carve on.

With a New Year and a new block of wood determine to carve more this year, determine to participate in a carving club or group,  determine to take a carving class or two, determine to carve that challenging project you have always wanted to try,  determine to enter carvings in a wood carving show and competition and determine to carve towards “ecstasy” rather than stopping at the road block of “agony.”

“The hardest part of any project is getting started,” is an observation I have made over the years.  Once a project is finally started one is very surprised at how the creative juices join our efforts to create a carving of merit with a lament for not starting sooner.

My suggestion for woodcarvers who find themselves at loose ends to get started is to carve at lease twenty minutes each day.  It is what I call the “Twenty Minute Work Out” by taking a piece of wood and putting a sharp tool to the wood to practice the feel of carving.  It could be a simple whittling exercise or taking a # 3 gouge or a “V” tool and seeing what all one can make the tool do.  The next time try a # 5 or a #7 or #9 and do the same.

Two things will be accomplished in these “Twenty Minute Work Outs” with the first being getting the dexterity feel of the hand-to-tool working together in creating various cuts, thus learning what all the tool can do.  The second thing experienced will be that the creative sub-conscious will join in the carving exercise causing that twenty minute exercise to develop into a carving project.  Many of these “Twenty Minute Work Outs” will grow into longer carving sessions.

I often say “Carving is my escape to sanity,” for any time of creativity becomes time well invested for the mind, spirit and heart to harmonize with hope, optimism and possibility.

A New Year and a blank block of wood await us.  May we begin each with hope, optimism and the possibility of trying and it will be a better year.   Remember The Wood Bee Carver’s philosophy:  “Would be carvers would be carvers if they would carve wood.”


This entry was posted on Thursday, January 1st, 2009 at 2:02 pm and is filed under General. 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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