Over the past week I got a few new carvings done. I carved these from corner blocks but as you may notice from the one on the far left at first I let the wood set the boundaries. Then I began to set my own and when in doubt I would simply carve it out. Sometimes I forget to carve away what I don't want opposed to leaving it in and as previously stated let the wood set the boundaries.
I have always tried to change up the expressions and the way the tassel hangs to give a variety to my ornaments and really like the caps on this group. One thing I have not always done is have an established way I carve the facial features, so recently I carved my own study stick. It's great to have a study stick but I think if you carve one yourself, even if it's based on one done by a known carver it will help you be more consistent in your carvings. So with this group I tried to stick with the way I carved the features on the study stick and will carve another in the near future with a few possible tweaks, isn't that how we grow as carvers?
Before I end I want to share something from a conversation I recently had with a fellow carver. We were talking about carving in general and the "how to's" of how we both approach carving. Then the conversation turned to where we stand in the carving community. It was refreshing to hear another carver say he knew where he stood in the carving community and that he had no dreams of becoming anything more than what he is, which by the way is a solid consistent talented carver. Many have thought that I under value my work and that I don't see what "talent" I have as a carver/cartoonist or that I simply under sell myself. I think that I understand what gifts I have, as I believe all gifts are from God, but I also see the time and effort many carvers put in to their craft. I also know that on any given day I can be drawn to cartooning over carving and vise versa as well. Both are passions for me and one without the other would make me less at which ever was left. I will never be the next great cartoonist like Charles Shultz or Johnny Hart. I also will never reach the heights of carvers the likes of Chris Hammock or Don Mertz and I am fine with that. Does this mean I don't want to grow in either of the two. No, that is not what I am saying. What I mean to say is that I have been blessed with a certain level of talent and I will continue to see what I can do with each of them. As much as I cherish both the greater gift is the family that surrounds me each and every day, they are my priority. There is nothing wrong with being driven but there is also nothing wrong with just being happy and content. May each of us seek the path God has laid out for us and travel it in a way that honors both the gift and the Giver.
Good night and may God bless