Winters Days are Happy Days
Thank you all for the response and the welcome back, you are amazing. Quigley is wiggling at the thought of each of you stopping in and resting a while in a familiar place. Good to have you gather again and listen to the banter that runs through this mind running full steam ahead.
Better bundle up. We are getting snow here in a few hours, the wind has kicked up and the temperature is beginning to drop. We need some snow to cover all the dirty snow hanging on from the last one. The home fires will be burning when you arrive and the coffee and maybe I had better break out the hot chocolate as well.
Yet Another Passion
Here is another passion of mine, Woodcarving. Something I first got interested in 30 some odd years ago. I pursued it with a passion and actually made a living at it for a few years until I ran out of time attempting to keep up with the commissions. Dates started to pile up and I started to fall behind. So I had to stop the orders and clean up the mess I had created. I stopped carving for several years and have just recently started again after building a studio in the garage.
Wood is an amazing media to work in. There is a carving in every piece of wood, all you need to do is find it and it will produce itself as you work away the excess. I smile as I tell you this, sometimes you can make a small design change to accommodate for your failure to plan ahead. For me over the years it has been proven I have had some expensive fires because I could not clean up the mess I had created.
This piece is Walnut, a gorgeous wood to work with. It started out as two pieces laminated together and the grain change is barely visible but there if you look closely. Again we serve a God who provides some of the most amazing detail in His wood He has grown for our use.
This carving was done back prior to my becoming a Christian but my interests had switched from nature and moved into the Christian workings. This piece is carved in Honduras Mahogany. A rare commodity today as they have all but stopped exporting it from there. Should you find it you will pay a fairly dear price for it.
Over the years of doing commission work I reinvested all my earnings back into wood stock and I have a fair quantity of this wood left. Some as wide as 32 inches and 2 inches thick. All meant for the day I would have the time. All left over chips are saved and used for smoking fish and curing jerky. That is the old miser in me.
This piece is carved in another rare and hard to find wood. Butternut at one time was readily available but has been devastated by a pest over the years. Any stock which is available only comes in narrow widths. Lamination's of several pieces creates a color change that detracts from the finished product. This was one solid piece.
I was commission by a family to do this. They had asked that I design something to represent the love of the family and love of the land. A wonderful family to get to know, hard working in the farming community where I once lived.
Brother and Sister
Commissioned by a brother and sister who had an extremely close bond. Again I was able to spend the day with them and listen to the many family stories they had to tell. This was a gift they were giving to their Mom and Dad on their 50th Wedding Anniversary.
I have stayed in contact with them. Their parents have passed away and they tell me they now share the carving. They each have it for six months of the year. It is a blessing to know it has become a blessing to them.
Last time we spoke they said once I was up and running again in a new studio they wanted me to duplicate the work so they would not have to share anymore. Cute thought. Good thing I still have the original pattern.
This was carved for a family as a memorial for their father who had been an avid hunter and outdoorsman. It was a Christmas gift and he passed away only a few months later. I managed to sit with him and talk about his many experiences in the wilderness. We had much in common. It was a sad day when he passed but he left a legacy of hunters and outdoors men in his family.
This again is Honduras Mahogany one solid piece so as you can see lamination's do detract from the finished work.
I was commissioned to do this one for a young couple living in Ireland. Time was short, it arrived the day of the wedding. A learning curve attempting to ship wood into another country but it did make it on time. I still stay in contact with them on occasion. They are still very married and have three children now. They have asked if it possible to carve three attachable small hearts to represent the family fully.
Carving has become a pleasure again. It is welcome relief and a source of being creative in a media I so appreciate. As I work I pray the Father will bless those who are receiving and in turn it blesses me to have people from the past stay in touch after all these years.
I recently read a piece of a tree that God once grew for a special man who we have all come to love. The tree would later become the cross He was crucified on. God had nurtured that same tree for many years knowing it would be the same tree Jesus would die on. It was a touching article.
May the Father bless you this day, may you find His peace in a profound way and come to know His love which will transform you.
© Rolly A. Chabot