I first started sculpting in wood around April or May of 2010. Wood was handy and I had some firewood under the garage (redgum).This is a very hard wood and I blunted many tools, however, it’s a lovely red wood that finishes with an exceptional deep colour. You know I listen to a lot of music when I work( I’ll go into that more later), and it struck me what a great gift it must be to be able to produce something as immediate and satisfying as good music. I guess I could always get singing lessons and sing to myself as I work. Better make a note of that for the future. I do practice my Didge, not as often as I’d like, but playing the Didgeridoo is something special. Where was I?Yes, blunted tools. So I started hacking away at this piece of firewood, about 25cm long and 15cm diameter.I hollowed it out and started cutting shapes.You know,just experimenting, seeing what’s possible.Taking up time and distracting myself. I just became totally absorbed. Going on for hours, just filing and filing and listening to music.Wonderful, timeless place to be in.
Some early experiments with redgum firewood.
My early work seemed to reflect primitive concepts, which is only logical I guess.I bought new tools and blunted them too.
Some primitive concepts.
Then by chance, (the way change usually happens), I got hold of some reclaimed softwood. Some lovely, aged Douglas Fir, also known as Oregon Pine.It has this alternating layers of soft and hard wood. The soft is light in colour and about 2-3 mm in thickness, then comes a darker hard bit about 1mm in thickness. This gives the wood a remarkable flexibility and makes it one of the worlds premier construction woods.Good to work with, however one small issue is that when sanding, the soft and hard bits respond differently to the same amount of pressure, so you can end up with small indentations in your work where the softer part of the wood wears away more quickly. Never mind, nothings perfect, and yet, everything is.
Experiments in shape and form with oregon pine.Much softer.
The soft wood is fun, yet it’s still very laborious (this is not a complaint, just a statement of fact, plenty of opportunity to listen to good music and drift away) to finish well, or to get the desired finish, that is.
Sculpting seems to be a never ending learning process. Great fun though and very exciting! Generating the same excitement as the most exciting times of youth. There’s nothing like a fresh , new piece of inspiration.Everything else falls away, only the challenge of the present work exists.I’d be happiest doing nothing else.