This difficult week that our world has gone through made me want to carve out images of love, delight, sweetness and joy.
And, so I did.
My son upcycled trees that had died and had to be cut down, and made me blanks for my carving.
A Manitoba Maple from the yard of the parents of friends has re-incarnated as a mermaid.
I could feel the Mermaid in the piece of Maple, and so I carved this Mermaid spoon.
I wanted her to look like the ocean carved her, even when it was me who did.
My son rescued the wood from a dead chokecherry tree and made me spoon carving blanks.
The chokecherry wood became heart and hand spoons, 2 sweet little sisters and a woman who dreamt of dancing with the moon….
The chokecherry wood is almost translucent while it’s being carved and takes lots of coats of oil and several days of resting after it’s carved to start changing color.
Heart and hand images are dear to my heart and I find it very healing to carve them.
The first one is a spoon that is like a magic wand, asking to be waved in the air to stir up common sense and loving, calling out to appreciative hearts, full of compassion and gratitude.
The chokecherry tree died awhile ago, but it’s heart lives on.
It really wanted to be another Heart and Hand, and this one called to me to add color by including beads.
The pebbles in the palm of the hand and the bowl of the heart are not attached.
They just jumped in because they wanted to be in the pictures.
A whole lot more heart and hand carved spoons are waiting in a pile of upcycled wood from trees that have died, but are living on as carved spoons!
Two darling little sisters called out to me and asked me to carve them as spoon dolls.
The first is a sweet bunny who is excellent at giving bunny/upcycled chokecherry tree hugs.
I carve the arms on my spoon dolls from sections of wood that I cut away while I am cutting out the rough outline with the scroll saw.
It’s important to me that I carve their arms from the exact same piece of wood that they are made from, and of course, I have to make the arms moveable.
All the better to deliver hugs when the world is needing so much love….
I am enchanted by these little wooden beings who reveal themselves to me as I carve them.
I am guided by what they want.
No, I am not bonkers,
I don’t hear voices 😀
but I do feel that I am guided by the spirit of the tree in asking me to do what it wants and to let it be what it needs to be.
Birds obviously must have loved the chokecherry tree that now lives on in my carvings.
I am sure of this, because as I was carving the wood from the dead chokecherry tree,
a little bird asserted it’s claim to sit upon the head of the kitty who is clearly the sister of the hugging bunny.
The kitty is quite happy to listen to all the little bird has to say about sunshine and wind and rain and other stories the chokecherry tree still whispers of it’s days of bloom in spring, berries in summer and autumn and cold roots in winter.
Sometimes, a piece takes me totally by surprise.
I thought that this was going to be one thing and it turned out to be something totally different!
At first, after many many hours of carving the chokecherry wood, I thought that I had completely failed and that the spoon doll who was fighting me was destined to become firewood.
I tried to give up and go to bed, but no way, she wasn’t having any of that!
I could feel the wood trying to get me to see what was supposed to be happening, and I was drawn in, hour after hour, carving and carving and carving until finally at 3 am, I had an ‘aha’ and felt like I had gotten to where I was supposed to go with this spoon doll.
I jumped out of bed the next day, after not enough sleep, and immersed myself in this spoon doll, but this time, knowing what she was asking for.
She wanted me to see that she was a dreamer, dancing with the moon on her head.
Perhaps the chokecherry tree had loved feeling the touch of moonlight on it’s branches?
The spoon doll made it clear to me that she wanted NO embellishment, only to be allowed to shimmer in the light of the moon.
I did, however, allow a little pearl to sneak into the photos. The Moon Dancing Dreamer was fine about it. Gracious, in fact.
I am utterly captivated by the joy (and challenges) of carving ‘raw’ upcycled wood that might have ended up at the land fill or simply being burned as firewood.
It’s alchemy to listen to the wood and let it lead me in transforming it in ways that surprise and delight me.
I look forward to continuing this adventure!