"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Santa Claus & Biblical Character Wood Carvings

A few years ago, I began teaching myself to wood carve. With the help of many books, and a super woodcarving forum, I've definitely advanced and have much fewer accidents with the carving knife!

Although most of my carvings have been sold on Ebay, here are a few of the carvings I couldn't part with. My hands and heart direct me in the way I should go and they always direct me towards the Folk Art style.

Here is Santa wrapping himself up tightly in a quilt. Instead of rich warm colors I usually paint my Santas with, this one was different. I chose a calm, neutral palette. I wanted this Santa to feel safe. Adding the inspirational words conveys a sense of hope in a world gone awry.

HOLY MOSES! It's MOSES! For weeks, my "muse" wouldn't let me alone until I carved Moses holding the 10 Commandments. As it turns out, he's one of my favorite carvings. When my son Nicolai was 3 last year, he pointed to Moses sitting in the curio cabinet and said, "Mommy, I love this!" I was surprised that with a cabinet full of Santa Claus and snowmen carvings, he'd pick Moses out. Of course, it's now got Nic's name on the bottom!

Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year! The crispiness of it all stirs something in me that nothing can contain! In honor of this glorious time of year, I carved Santa Claus in a warm Fall quilt.

Next is Noah. Originally, he was supposed to be a shepherd for a Manger Scene I was creating, but he changed in the process. The little sheep at the bottom was a complete after-thought, which is why he is wrapped around Noah. Simple, rustic, and whimsical, the beauty of Folk Art!

The Santa Clauses below are warm to my heart because they are taken from a pattern (and tweaked a bit) by one of my favorite wood carving friends, Ron Ransom. Ron has many carving books for beginners and it is because of him that I gained confidence and faith in myself to pursue wood carving.

These were done a few years ago as presents for Mary and Nicolai, while I was just getting comfortable with using a carving knife. Though I see all the mistakes of an amateur woodcarver, I love these pieces all the same. And if you've read my previous posts, you'll know what I mean when I say, "Wabi-Sabi!"

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