In the ages before plastic, glass, and cheap metals, where did one store food stuffs, how did you measure grains? Wood. Here a box crafted for mundane, everyday purposes. And yet, pre-industrial times gave one a chance to add a personal touch.
I like the craftsmanship and the decorations here. One can only image the process, the labor over long hours as the craftsman search for wood, cut slabs and lengths, seasoned the wood, planned the design, cut out and assembled pieces, and finally painted and decorated the piece.
7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not upright.
“The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not upright.” Prov 15:7
Some of you will recognize the faces. Some of you will know these are eggplants. Many of you might know they are made out of basswood. Most of you will not know that these carvings were once considered scrap wood, salvaged out of a junk box.
In a way they make a strong statement to me about life, about the lives of many people. They are seen as scrap, the world sets them aside, considers them unimportant, value,es. And yet, in each is something beautiful. Can you imagine what our world would be like if we all found the beauty, the value, the spark in each person we meet. Imagine that as you work on your next project.
(In case you missed it, this is a tip of the hat to Veggie Tales and their creativity.)
“Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” Prov 13:10
Carvings shown here will be offered for sale by a friend of ours back in the States while we reside here in Beijing.
The first picture shows an array of bark pieces, houses, churches, and a light house/sailboat. It shows the kind of variety I try to have at a sale. For me, this is a combination of what I like and what kinds of pieces have sold in the past, always a marketing challenge.
The second shows event more variety. Here a larger lighthouse, a book carved out of white pine, a sparrow and a related verse from the Bible, and a basswood relief of a recognizable viking.
What would you consider a good variety for a sale? How many carvings would you bring? How do you go about pricing your pieces?
“The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.” Prov 14:8
Notice anything in the picture. Right, no carvings. This is in a royal garden of the Qing Dynasty in Beijing, China. I will be posting from here for most of the next two years. We will be looking for interesting carvings and even a few carvers while we teach and live here.
That said, posts may be spotty, as you may have noticed. Internet and Internet speed is not always as reliable as in other parts of the world. We will try our best. Meanwhile, do keep carving, drawing, painting, potting, knitting, or whatever creative avenue you use. Do it with joy and integrity. Perhaps even ask yourself where our creativity comes from.
“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” Prov 13:20
Posts 145, 152,156, 160. Those are posts where you can find cabins 1- 4.
This one has its own unique and interesting qualities. First the large knot in the base. Its location is not an accident. The wood was turned and viewed from every angle. Finally, given the limited number of tools available at the time of carving, it was decided that the knot needed to be in the base.
Then, how to incorporate it into the base? The result, a large rock which allowed for very limited carving to the knot itself.
Another pleasing feature is the roof. Both the wavy carving lines and the wavy growth rings make an attractive top to the cabin. And these lines offset the chimney well.
One choice I am not so sure about is the size of the smaller wall rocks. Should they have been larger. What do you think?
“The wise store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.” Prov 10:14
I know, it isn’t really wood carving. But, there is wood work done. This stool is more than 150 years old. It captures my attention for several reasons. First is the hand labor involved. Rounding the seat must have taken some time. Shaping the legs as well. Did you notice the slight curve to them. A nice detail. And then there is the work done to slot the legs into the seat, terrific.
A second reason to like this piece is the recycling done. The owner believes the seat was a wheel of some kind, hence the square hole in the top. The seat reminds me of ancient Chinese coins with their square or round holes so they could be threaded and carried on a string.
A third reason to like this stool is the character of the wood. Holes, unfinished edges, color, cracks, and growth rings make this an eye-pleasing object. What do you think?
“Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.” Prov 11:17
A few more Chinese press molds. (See Post 128) These would be used to make moon cakes. The cakes are served most often at the mid-autumn festival, a lunar holiday. It is one of the four most important holidays in China.
The top molds imprint the words for happiness and a wish for more money. I like the two-part mold which must make disassembly much easier for the baker.
The fish is also a cake mold. It means “more and more happiness, more health and more money.” This information from a Chinese friend.
While we are far from the next mid-autumn festival, it is never too late or too early to wish you well. May you find the eternal source of happiness and well-being. Shalom.