I was working on two pieces, from chunks of the same tree, when I found out that there will be an exhibit in which I can enter them. No guarantee that my work will be accepted, but I like the show’s concept either way. South Avenue Arts of Garwood (https://southavenuearts.com/shows) (and that’s GarWOOD, not Garfield; I know this is confusing) has called for works about animals, and the show will benefit a shelter or animal welfare group. How perfect is that for a person who happened to be carving these:
Okay, the pieces in question do not represent normal shelter pets. But the wood wasn’t kitten-shaped. It’s salvage from a huge Halisia montecola that was taken down in Mount Holly. Halisia montecola is a variant of Halisia virginiana; some say they’re the same thing, but montecola grows about 60 feet tall, not 20, and I’d agree that it’s a significant difference. They grow along the warmer Appalachians, but they can live here as specimens. This one would have been planted around 1860.
The chunks were pretty random, cut with a chain saw and left behind. The wood is not very hard, but it’s stringy and fibrous, and this tree was spalted (aka half rotten) so it doesn’t offer a fine finish but I think they will work out well, with its marbled pattern. Hey… the table in the picture is from the same tree!
I’m also interested in a call for public art, and I’ve mocked something up:
I’ll be busy with these through March. But you should be hearing from me before then about my carving class in Metuchen in May!