In my post make a pile of chips I talked about Abraham Maslow’s wife and her mentor’s advice to make a pile of chips. The moral of the story is even though you may not know what you are doing, start something. By making a pile of chips, you allow underdeveloped ideas to take shape.
This year has been my best for woodcarving. Starting with a few blocks of basswood, saws and some new professional carving tools from my family, I set out to make some Christmas elf ornaments I found in a magazine.
I quickly learned I had underestimated the skill level required for these ornaments. Two weeks had passed and you couldn’t even tell what the first ornament was supposed to be!
I wanted to to give up and simply carve some beginner Santas. In fact I bought a book Carving Santas from Around the World. But I decided to stick with it a bit longer. After all, carving is fun, even if I am only making a pile of chips.
My greatest mistake was not predicting how darn difficult the eyes would be. My first elf’s eyes may appear quite sunken due to me carving, re-carving and carving again. But finally, with the aid of an eye carving model and practice stick, I think I got the hang of it.
When it was finally time to part with the ornaments, I didn’t want to. My piles of chips had taken on personalities of their own. First came the elf I named Knibblesby, whom I gave to my sister.
During the carving of this whimsical elf, my kids and I would make up stories about his adventures sneaking into parties just so he could nibble appetizers.
The second elf I named Beardsly for obvious reasons.
He wasn’t as fun for the kids for he had an old stoic demeanor and quickly became known around the house as a grumbler about a great many things. But I love him and I’m quite happy with the end result:
Woodcarving really drives home the point “it’s the journey, not the destination.” The reason is since I’ve finished the ornaments, there is a void. Yes, I feel a little let down that I don’t have a project in progress.
Sure, I can start another one, but which one? heh…maybe I’ll start a gargoyle for my next journey. What do you think?