Zen Trout Carving

In my last post, I mentioned that I was working to overcome some challenges that seemed overwhelming, and I was just trying to carve something fun and easy and just-for-myself. See for yourself how it turned out:

A Trout Carved in Zen Style

I had fun with this one, although it changed a number of times. At first, I thought about making it highly detailed, scales and all. But that was premature – the wood, yellow cedar, likely wouldn’t have supported that much detail. Then I thought about making it stylized, creating an impression rather than representing reality. Along the way, I tried blurring those lines a little, but then my wife convinced me that this carving was really a Zen trout trapped in a log (actually, an old power pole).

This is designed to hang on the wall, and be viewed by looking up above you at it. I carved it in such a way that the fins and tail would look best from that angle. If looked at directly over the back (or dorsal fin), the trout looks flat and featureless. If looked at from the side, the fins look too short. But looked at from the angle of the photo, it appears properly proportioned.

Here’s another view:

About the carving:

It’s carved in yellow cedar, 12 inches long by 3 inches wide and 2 inches tall. It is finished with 5 coats of tung oil, hand-rubbed and buffed. It’s not really for sale, but I could be convinced to change my mind.

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Published by

Grant McMillan

I am the University Registrar at Trinity Western University, and I've been in the profession since 1997. I have an MA in Organizational Leadership, and have made a career of going into organizations that are in very difficult situations and leading them to a much better place. I teach Leadership to budding managers in the Adult Degree Completion program at Trinity Western University. I speak and consult, with organizations. Contact me at grant.mcmillan@twu.ca

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