About two years ago I began carving faces, flowers, and bugs on the scrap pieces of wood that I cut off my walking sticks. For years I looked at those nice pieces of wood... some sourwood, rhododendron, or perhaps dogwood and just didn't feel right about tossing them out or into the wood heater. Even though they had been cast as walking stick rejects, for some reason I just loved these little pieces of finely cured wood so I gradually ended up with a fine reserve of the best pieces.
I might have already posted one of the greenmen here as seen in the picture above and now I'm back at it again! These little pieces of wood are just too beautiful and most of all they are just too easy to pick up and put into my cargo pockets when I'm leaving the house. During the day I can then work on them whenever I can find a minute or two.
These little "on the go" carvings are mostly unplanned so I use complete "on the spot" creative freedom in their woody creation. As seen in the other pictures I just finished another scrap wood face this week, just working on him when I could. He is made from a piece of rhododendron that is about 6" long and 1-1/2" diameter which is my ideal walking stick thickness.
While this particular little face is quite simple I was influenced from several references while carving it. Most of all I had just watched the movie Avatar the day before I began carving so that's probably where the look of something from The Planet of The Apes crossed with Star Trek's "Spock" came in. I even added some lavender skin tone to the final finish but it's hard to see from a picture.
Although he's not too complex when it comes to carving, this little fellow will make a nice addition to the "family" as I decide what the next one will be.
Living in the mountains of North Carolina I have spent almost 30 very
rewarding years working with at-risk kids in a wilderness camping program as a counselor, outdoor educator, and woodshop teacher. To learn more about what my blog is all about, just scroll down this sidebar to "About my blog..."
1. Woodcarving/Woodwork: Working wood has been a lifetime obsession for me and I enjoy sharing what I know. It is my belief that hands-on and experiential learning has a direct and profound effect on the development of a child's intellect, confidence, and character. Projects of mine (and my students) will be posted as they progress and I will occasionally include a video tutorial. All of my videos can be found here .
2. Bushcraft/Primitive Living Skills: Finding ways to live closer to the land has always fascinated me. Whether it's building a shelter, fire starting, animal tracking, or just making rustic furniture... you'll eventually see some of it here.
3. Long Distance backpacking, canoeing, & bicycling: Some of my long distance adventures include thru-hiking the 2,600 mile Pacific Crest Trail, Mexico to Canada and I solo paddled the 1,800 mile Yukon river across northwest Canada and Alaska to the Bering sea. More detailed accounts of these and many other adventures can be found here
4. Sustainable Living: I'm always looking for better ways to do more by using less. It's not so much an "environmental" thing to me as it is a quest for personal independence from material things and finding a path to more substantive living .
5. Scouting Activity: As a scoutmaster of 6 years (and currently assistant scoutmaster) I'm actively involved with the troop and "Order of the Arrow" where it is a joy to volunteer hundreds of hours each year because investing in the next generation insures a better tomorrow for everyone. In an era when most schools don't value hands-on learning, outdoor education, and the arts... scouting soars in meeting these critical experiences for boys.
6. Profiles: Behind everyone's success you can usually find a trail of some very significant mentors and teachers along the way. And sometimes you don't completely understand how someone affected your life for the better until many years later. You'll find some of those stories here.