Bark Carvings



Carving is one of my keys to the secret garden, my way down the rabbit hole, my looking glass.
Since my childhood whittling days, the process of wood carving has struck me as magical.  Many years ago, I fell in love with the shape, colour, and texture of cottonwood bark from fallen trees, and it has become my principle carving medium.
The bark forms a natural canvas for whimsical images, which I carve in relief, with an illusion of realism. Sometimes the grain and natural curve of a piece is so spectacular that it becomes an unexpected extension of the relief carving. 
I have no preconceived notion of what the carving will look like, other than to determine if the bark is of a thickness for either a face or a gnome home.  I begin by removing the loose bark with a wire brush, next I use chisels to remove slivers of wood and let the face or house “emerge” from the bark.  As I carve the work takes on its own personality, which is why each item is given its own name.  I know the carving is done when I can feel a harmony between the carved area and the natural bark left on the piece. To finish, each piece is sanded, and small amounts of paint may be added; it is signed, numbered, and either oiled or sealed.  My carvings can take three days to three weeks to complete.
When people see my work, I'd like them to be amused by the spirits of the trees, and ... smile.



LINK to my Cottonwood Bark Carving Gallery


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