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Artist Statement

Mission Statement:
chisel animationTo create high quality and creative handmade wood canes and carvings to sell at craft shows in the Northeastern United States and over the Internet.  

Artist Statement and/or Ramblings:
When I start a carving, I get as many different pictures as I can from different angles. This allows me to picture it in my head before I start carving. I have to be able to picture it first before I start to carve. Once I have a clear picture in my head of what I want the carving to look like, I start cutting away the wood that does not belong. Usually I draw just a pattern first instead of drawing 3 different views because I cannot draw very well. Then I use power tools and power carving bits to rough out the carving. After the carving is cut to the rough shape, I use chisels and knives for the fine detail.

My carvings are stylized carvings. You can tell what it is, but it does not have all the tiny details like in realistic carving. Vincent Van Gogh said it well when he said, "leave the obvious vague and exaggerate the essential." I do this for several reasons. One is that I like the carvings to be more artistic where the lines flow into and with each other. Another reason is that if the carving is not totally realistic, your mind has to fill in the details. This pulls you into the carving. You get involved with the carving and feel some emotion about it. 

I enjoy carving with wood because it is warm, comforting and inviting. You want to touch it. Also, each piece is different with its own grain, color and personality. When I'm carving, I picture it in my head and then I create it. That is a rush for me. It's something that I created. It's even more of a rush when other people like it and buy it. There is a final project that I can see when I am done carving. When I teach, there is not a final project that I see. It is almost like I don't have anything to show for my work. With carving, I have a final project that I can see and touch. Also, carving takes total concentration. You think about the carving and nothing else. It's like riding a motorcycle where it is just you and the road. That kind of concentration makes the time go fast and it is actually relaxing.

I usually don't paint my carvings because I don't like to paint. Some carvings look better when they are painted so I break down and paint it. However, once you paint a carving, it could be made out of anything besides wood. You could even make a mistake, fix it with wood filler and paint over it. Since I am carving wood, I like to see the wood grain when I am done.