Sunday, May 1, 2011


For some time I have been thinking about selling the pieces that I carve. When I started working in wood I never thought about selling any of my pieces. Over the years, I have given away many pieces to friends and family. Actually, I have made specific pieces for friends and family that I would give to them. Now, I am at the point where I have no more room to store or display the carvings that I have done. I have more ideas for projects that I would like to start but I have no room to display the pieces once they are finished.

It has taken a lot of thought but the first piece that I would like to sell is one that I call The Master.The Master is a special piece for me because it was one of the first pieces that I carved out of reclaimed wood. The wood was reclaimed from a privet hedge that I had planned to move because a property survey revealed that my property line was seven feet past the privet hedge. When I started to dig up the privet hedge I realized that almost all of the bushes were diseased and infected with parasites. In the end, I dug up all of the hedges and threw them away except one. The one hedge that I kept I have carefully nursed it back to health and it sits in the south east corner of my property. I kept as much as the wood from the other hedges as I could. I kept some of the larger canes and made them into walking sticks. I also kept most of the bottom stock and the roots of most of the hedges. It is from one of those roots that i carved The Master.

Here are some pictures of the completed carving. If you turned The Master upside down you would have the orientation in which the hedge grew.

By and large I followed the natural flow of the wood. I wanted to use the flow of the wood to express the energy that emanates from The Master. As I mentioned, the hedges had been damaged by parasites so there were holes and tracks that had to dealt with and incorporated into the carving. When I carved the face I wound up opening one of the holes in the wood. I could have left it but it gave me a feeling of negative energy instead of positive energy. Instead a took a piece of ebony and carved a patch to fill in the hole. To me, it gives the carving a sense of yin and yang, light and dark, a balance of positive and negative energy.
In the back of The Master, there was a long fissure created by who know what. Instead of trying to remove it through carving, I incorporated it into the carving. The idea being that The Master has so much energy that it is fairly bursting out.

The object that The Master is holding is a glass marble that I found while walking in the ravine near my house. I find so many objects in the ravine that I consider it to be a legitimate source of material for my carvings. The glass marble is very old, I have not seen one like it since I was a very young boy and that was some time ago. So I consider it to be an antique glass marble. Like a ball of light emerging from a period of dormancy in the earth, it is now at the center of The Master's energy or qi.

The top of The Master's head is a series of waves that reach up into space. It is a suggestion of waves of energy or fire. The Master is rooted in the earth. The dark wood of The Master's stand represents the earth. When you look at the arrangement of the grain of the wood is looks like the sedimentary layers of the earth.
The Master is firmly rooted in the earth. The position of his feet is a classic martial arts position to make one rooted or immovable. He reaches into the air emanating energy and fire shoots up from his head. He epitomizes three of the four elements: earth, air and fire.

The Master needed a solid base to stand on. I used a piece of south east Asian mahogany that I recycled from a packing crate. I sanded and polished the mahogany to high luster. I drilled two holes in the base and attached The Master's stand to the base.

There are some Chinese characters on the stand. The character on the left hand side of the sign means 'master' and the character on the right means 'great'. I used Chinese script that predates the Han dynasty which means that the script was used over 2,000 years ago. I like the ancient script, it is closer to the ideographic origins of Chinese characters.

I will be posting The Master for sale on Etsy in the near future. For those who may be interested in purchasing The Master I will be posting the link once it is on Etsy.

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