re-using, recycling, and redeeming old wood

#56 Wood Carving: Relief carving, hiding at Calvin College.

As I said in an earlier post, #45, I have taken to wandering with camera in hand. You never know when or where you will find a nice carving. I found a beautiful relief carving on the grounds of Calvin College over Christmas. It was in the strangest place. But of course, I can’t tell you where. You will have to find it yourself or write my and ask.

Relief carving, Calvin College

This carving is a relief carving. Wikipedia says, “Relief carving can be described as ‘carving pictures in wood’. The process of relief carving involves removing wood from a flat wood panel in such a way that an object appears to rise out of the wood.” Wiki goes on to say, “Relief carving is a sculptural form in which figures are carved in a flat panel of wood. The figures project only slightly from the background rather than standing freely. Depending on the degree of projection, reliefs may also be classified as high or medium relief.”

Relief detail, left - Calvin College

Relief detail, right - Calvin College

Relief detail, center, Calvin College

Note then that relief carving, here described as it is done in wood, is identified as high, medium or low relief depending on how far work projects from the background, how much undercutting the artist does. Also, note that relief carving is done in many different mediums – plastic, metal, bone, ivory, even fruit.

There are many neat details in this piece.  I like the expression on the goat’s faces.  The couple is bent to the task.  You can almost hear the oars working.  The sea gulls stand in their typical disinterest awaiting the fish remains a fishing couple might throw out of the fish house to the left.

One other detail for you to notice.  Look closely at the edge treatment here.  This carving is done on one solid piece of wood.  The artist has done a great job of setting off the carving by lowering the work into the wood and then highlighting the framing effect of the outside edge by painting an orange strip around the piece.

A GENTLE ANSWER TURNS AWAY WRATH, BUT A HARSH WORD STIRS UP ANGER.  PROVERBS 15:1

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