Solitary vs. Social Carving

Wood carving can be solitary and, indeed, I enjoy working alone in my shop.  I love the quietness and the crisp, slicing sounds of my carving gouges or the tap-tap-tap of the mallet as I bend over the bench and focus intently on the detail emerging from the wood. I am quite good at challenging myself with new ideas, new designs, new dreams. But sometimes working by myself and on my own projects means that I meander along, fiddling with this little (unimportant) part of the carving more than I should. Working with, or even better, for others provides a whole different level of enjoyment for me.

Carving for others – and getting my carvings out there in the world – is a most satisfying experience for me. I am fortunate to be able to choose my clients, and I do so carefully and with my own goals in mind. But ultimately, I carve to make the world a better, more interesting place. I invite you to scroll back through some of my older blog posts, look at the pictures, and judge for yourself if I’m accomplishing this.

 

Sign Carving
Sign Carving

One of my goals as a carver is to have repeat clients. I want to work for people who like my work, who offer me challenging jobs, and who have similar values. One such client I’ve quite enjoyed working with is Cassian. I’ve been working for a number of months for them, carving heritage signs for a mall renovation in Fort Langley. I’ve found it challenging to do a little more production-style work as opposed to purely artistic work, and they’ve appreciated my ability to carve dimensional signs in local cedar as opposed to just a painted piece of plastic. In the process, I’ve learned more about carving efficiently yet consistently meeting quality standards. I have appreciated working with a company that has very high standards and expects (but also recognizes) the high standards I set for myself.

Signs Carved for Cassian
Signs Carved for Cassian

These guys do great work and I find it a privilege to work with them. If you’re looking for a contractor who can work to high standards but also understands quality art work, local flavour, and how to make a statement, talk to Kevin or Albert at Cassian. These guys deliver!

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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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