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.
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.”
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
Good carving reminders:
Watched an interesting video the other day. Mr. Allan Breed was demonstrating the carving of a ball/claw foot table leg for a Goddard table. The piece was being done in mahogany. He explained the tools used and some of the techniques.
What was of interest to me were several of his comments on common mistakes carvers, especially new carvers make and advice on how to overcome or avoid them.
1. Go fast at the beginning of a project
2. Begin with wood you are not afraid to throw away
3. Save time in the carving for detail work at the end.
4. Blocking in the major masses sets the work up for success in the end.
5. No amount of fancy or wonderful detail work will save a poorly laid out carving
6. Do a lot of drawing with pencil. (All pencil will wash off in the end)
7. Make a template with markings so you need not keep taking out the ruler
To this I will add
8. Keep your tools sharp
9. Use the best wood you can find
10. Find lots of reference material before you carve
“The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.” Proverbs 1:3
My family is getting skittish these days. They see me coming and they duck for cover or they sigh or they get out a brush. The reason is that a camera has become an added appendage, a fixed feature in my hand.
But before I explain, even though it is a few days late, let me say MERRY CHRISTMAS to each reader of this blog. The great thing for me is that even though the gifts have been given, the tree is already gone, the songs on the radio change, the fudge and cookies disappear, the true peace and joy of Christmas is still here. The birth of Jesus and its celebration is just the starting point for me. Anyway, I wish you peace, true SHALOM in this coming year.
And now, back to the camera which will be a new appendage for this year. There is a reason for it, too. Everywhere you go, everywhere you look there are great uses of wood, eye-catching carvings, clever applications, interesting designs, stunning colors, textures, and patterns. And so much of it worth sharing with friends.
My family had Christmas in Michigan this December. Both sides of the family met in the Grand Rapids area. My immediate family stayed in the “Prince Conference Center,” a place worth checking out. There is a beautiful nature center to the north and east. A short walk takes you to the beautiful grounds of Calvin College to the west across a cool over-the-road bridge.
As you can also see by now, the wood work is great. I wandered through the lobbies and other spaces of the Conference Center enjoying the art work, the carving. There is much more great wood work on the college campus. Perhaps I can share those with you in the future. I hope you enjoy this work. The artists name is Darrel Deruiter. His shop is in Wyoming, MI. Well done Darrel.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4