Thursday, June 19, 2014

Learning to carve

After almost 6 weeks in hospital on and off  - I am finally home.  During my time in hospital - I have had lots of time to think and contemplate life. I realised that I have filled my life with a lot of "I should" instead of "I want".  By that I mean that I have lost sight of the fact that life is to be filled with things that make you joyful and fulfilled.  The stuff we have to do, will get done, but I am going to enjoy each day. Who knows how many any of us have.

So this morning I went down to spend some time with my wonderful Dad.  He is one of the most knowledgeable and talented people I have ever met.  My Dad can do anything.  He has built a sailing yacht with his father when he was a young man. He has built a three-story brick garage, with my Mum as his apprentice. He has given us magnificent bookcases and can fix anything.  He is just filled with knowledge and I don't want to lose any of it.

Also, in recent years he has begun to carve.  His carvings are magnificent.  During my illness, he gave me a 'comfort bird' - it is a little bird that sits in your hand and comforts you in times of stress. From the moment he gave me mine - I wanted to carve one of my own. So today I dressed up warmly and headed down to his workshop for my first lesson.

The Workshop

A finished bird, the blank and the knife
It was a daunting prospect to be given the blank that Dad had cut out on the bandsaw.  First thing I learnt was to find the middle of the blank and to draw a line through the mid-point on every facet. How smart?  This way you will keep your carving balanced.  So your best friend is your pencil and then your knife - or as Dad put it - second is the Band-Aid box - for your bleeding fingers.  Luckily today I had no cuts. 
I am so happy and peaceful
My hands carving my very first wooden bird
Dad and I smiling - showing off my/our work.
The wood chips show how much has been taken off to reveal the bird inside.
My Dad's amazing hands
A wonderful morning.

Measuring and marking with pencil.


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