There are a few reasons why I love wood carving. I get to work with people and take their ideas and put them into something tangible and artistic all at once. And you get something useful and beautiful, while enjoying the anticipation while it’s being worked on.
For example, in a previous post I spoke about the Blossoming Lotus Studios and the carving I did in Western Red Cedar. The client was very pleased when I delivered the carving, and she spoke about the need for a doorstop and a sign to tell students to remove their shoes before entering the studio. We were just talking about ideas when she stopped me and asked, “Could you carve something in the same theme?” As we developed her ideas a little further, possibilities took shape in my head.
For the doorstop, she wanted something that would hold the door open but also hold some coloured stones, fitting with the theme of an eastern studio. I always try to having carvings that hint at something more, or that let people have an “Oh look at that!” moment. So, I designed the doorstop with a bowl for stones and inside the bowl would be an outline of the lotus theme. My vision was that when the bowl was full of stones, you might only see hints of the lotus – maybe enough for you to stick your fingers in and stir the stones round to see more. I knew it had to be in heavy hardwood to stand up to the abuse of a door and also needed to be big enough to kick under a door, so it couldn’t be in Western Red Cedar. Here’s what I came up with:
As for a sign to remind people to remove their shoes, I thought it should be one of the first things to set the tone for the studio. As students walk down the hallway, they would pass by painted lotus blossoms on the wall. Then the next thing they would see would be the sign. So I wanted it to be welcoming and in the same theme as the entire studio, but also stand out from the light colours. Specifically, I wanted to draw people’s attention from the sign to the carved lotus blossom on the wall as soon as they walked in. Tell me, do you think I achieved my goals?
About these carvings:
The door stop is carved in Cherry, in fact, a local piece of wood from Hope, BC. It’s finished in multiple coats of tung oil. I glued an anti-slip rubber strip to the bottom because the floor in the studio is very slippery laminate.
The shoe sign is Western Red Cedar, approximately 12 by 18 in inches and 3/4″ thick. It also is finished in multiple coats of tung oil. The letters are raised, as are the two icons of the blossoming lotus.