Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Broken Knife

Sometime around the 1980's, when two of my three kids left home, to strike out on their own, I was left with a do nothing or get a hobby. I had an outside job, as a medical assistant/office manager, in a surgeon's office, but I needed more. I really hadn't thought of a hobby, but one day...the blade of one of my small paring knives broke in half. I liked this knife and used it a lot, so I decided to sharpen the broken edge...this took sometime. Once sharpened, I had a square looking cutting edge...what could I do with this? As I sharpened it, I would pick up pieces of wood and whittle on them, to see if the broken edge was getting sharp enough to cut. After awhile, of doing this...and having nothing but wood shavings on the floor, I picked up a piece of cedar kindling...began cutting and ended up with what looked like a letter opener.

So began my short lived carving career. I made letter openers with hearts, leaves, flowers, sometimes on request, I personalized them with initials. Everyone got a gift of a letter opener. From letter openers, I went on to key-chain designs (those thing you hang on key chains), animals, small containers, etc. Everything was rather crude looking, but sand paper works wonders.

I prided myself, in the fact, that I never used electric machinery of any kind...everything was started from scrap wood. I would walk the woods of Shady Oaks, in search of the perfect piece of wood. The wood spoke to me, and directed me in what it was going to end up being. Sometimes, it ended up being some silly looking little animal, and sometimes it was just a piece of wood, with carvings on it. After the letter openers, I never planned anything again...I just let the wood tell me what it wanted to be.

I made a silly carving of my puppy Rocky, with legs extended in the air...just how she liked to lay and play. When I was halfway through with it...I found out, that it could be set upright in a sitting position also. I don't know what kind of wood I was just laying on the forest floor. I carved many animals...some of the animals haven't even evolved yet.

Although I wasn't, what you would call good...I really enjoyed it. It was something that I did, just for me. I would turn on the music of Bob Segar or Rod gave me inspiration and made me feel creative. (Actually music of any kind, makes me feel wonderful...from classical to country.) I think I may be mistaken here...Bob Segar music makes me feel like drawing a picture...don't ask me just does.

Keep scrolling down this page and you'll see some of the things I puppy, Rocky is my favorite (for sentimental reasons).


susan said...

Hi Sandy, LOVE your carvings! From your descriptive words, I expected to see very crude works, but just the opposite in the pictures. The carvings are beautiful, you are very talented.

I have been perusing your archives, love the travel pictures! Keep up the good work, and thanks for sharing.

Tomas Dennis said...

Those are great and beautiful, we are off to see Allison and family be back later today.
your brother

judypatooote said...

Sandy, you are talented....those are beautiful....I, like Susan, though they would be a simple design....but there not....My hubbys dad use to carve, and his great grandpa carved a monkey out of a peach stone....we still have it.....and I have a friend that carves birds that look so real..... I think you should follow through with this, because you are GOOD! and if you enjoy it, what else counts......

Wystful1 said...

Oh my, oh hubby does the carving/whittling around here! These carvings below are fantastic!! I love to paint and maybe crochet a little bit...I'm afraid I'd do bodily harm with a knife in my hand...way to go!!!

Here are some of my hubby's carvings and my artwork. Southwest Gallery

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Wystful1...This is quite a compliment coming from someone who actually does have talent! Thank you.

BTW I visited your blog site and today I visited your Gallery. You & your husband are both very talented.

somershade said...

Enjoyed your post mom,
I hope these comments encourage you to carve more. You have always been talented in sketchings, drawings and any kind of artsy thing.I've always been your number one fan and these pictures don't do them justice. We want to see more. Give us a Wooden Cucoo. .I know I've got a broken knife laying around here some where, we'll just break one. Break one for Cucoo a friend. Love ya good night, Now I'm getting alittle Cucoo, tired

Anonymous said...

I have always said you were talented in more ways than one. I have admired your carvings and other art work every since I have been in the family. I know where Brian & Doug get their artistic talent. Brandon is starting to like to do things like that. You have a gift and should do more. Of course, you have so many talents. Really like the Cucoo too. Love you. You know who.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Dear Anonymous & the rest of you too. Thank you for the nice comments. I sometimes think about carving again, but my eyesight is not nearly as good as it once was.

Our family is blessed with many who have artistic talents of some kind. I will try to post pictures of their creations as well, from time to time.

jellyhead said...

What do you mean, you weren't good?! Says WHO? These carvings are beautiful.

Sandy, thanks also for your words of friendship in commenting on my last post. I'm glad you are able to 'come out of your shell' through blogging - it's great to be able to get to know you!