#63 Wood carving: Where to get ideas: Frogs and things
Something a little different this time. Obviously the picture above is not a carving, it is a tracing of a ceramic dodad my sister owns. It is a cute little frog which sits under her bathroom vanity. It is the perfect place for such a neat little piece, given the four children – two boys and all the water that gets splashed around.
This entry, however, is not about frogs and places they hide. It is about where we find ideas for carving. I am always looking for the next good idea, an artistic something which sparks an idea, or a part of life which energizes me to carve the next best piece.
Creation, the beauty of the world as God made it, is a great place to look for ideas. I have files, paper files and on the computer, filled with pictures of things which have captured my attention, peaked my interest, or drawn a second look. I keep those files around, looking through them periodically, for inspiration or a fresh start.
These pictures may well become another carving. I will keep the outline tacked to my work bench for a time. [If I lose it I now have an electronic file of it here :)] One thought I have had is to “blow up” the carving which is here done in ceramic.
The figurine provides us with some of those critical pieces of information we need in carving. It gives all the parts of the frog in relationship to each other and does so in an interesting and “froggy” kind of way. I see the frogs of my youth out on the lily pads ready to jump should our boat or hands get too close. Another benefit of observing this figurine for carving is the process of simplification the potter went through to get the “frog” feel here. We know it is not a frog, and we know we will not be creating a frog, but the artist simplifies the carving while still keeping the frog feel.
Now, the trick is to find the right piece of wood, get the blank cut out, creating a “froggy” carving, paint, seal, and sign. Simple. Well, almost. Let me know if you try this. I would like to see your version.
“And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.” Gen 1: 24,25