Posted by: woodbeecarver   in BEE Buzz

NO MISTAKEEvery carver has an inner anxiousness about making a mistake while carving but when you boil it down there really are no mistakes in carving, only learning experiences.  A wit once said “Nothing in life is ever a complete failure because it can always serve as a negative example,” which is a lot more truth than humor.  David Sabol of the Caricature Carvers of America often says in his carving instructions that carvers should treat each carving project as a “practice” piece by which he implies that each carving project is a learning experience, so relax and have fun and if you mess up the carving, you can learn how  to make adjustments. Many great discoveries were at first thought to be a mistake, but on second thought turned out to be more important.  In 1987 the WOOD BEE CARVER was carving several WHITTLE FOLK HILLBILLYS, one of which was the one in the photo above of a sleeping hillbilly laying down with his arm around a sleeping dog.  His legs are crossed and he is not wearing any shoes.

It was a challenge to carve this caricature with his legs crossed but upon doing the first one, several more were carved using the very same pose.  It was some time later that the WOOD BEE CARVER noticed that when you cross one’s legs that the big toes are on the outside of the feet, but in the carving of the sleeping hillbilly, the big toes are to the inside.

A mistake? On first thought, yes, but on second thought it was no mistake, only a learning experience to be more observant, do research on the subject being carved and realize that there are no perfect carvings, nor perfect carvers.  So relax, have fun and learn by doing.

There is a story of a grand son asking his grandfather how he became so wise.  “From having good judgement,” said Grandpa.  “Where do you get good judgement?” asked grandson.  “From having experience,” replied Grandpa.  “Well, where does experience come from?” inquired the grandson.  “From making bad judgement,” replied Grandpa.

For “wise” wood carvers, experience comes from a mistake which is no mistake, only a learning experience.  All this is true as long as one remembers the Old Boy’s Law “You don’t learn anything the second time you are kicked by a mule.” The key is to not make the mistake into a habit by continuing to carve hillbillies with crossed legs having their big toes opposite from where they should be.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008 at 11:44 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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