Creative interpretations

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Mark Baker

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Well, the Easter break has been and gone and all attempts of getting in the garden and tidying it up were thwarted by it being wet and claggy underfoot. Not only did I want to clear up some of the detritus and so on, which accumulates during the winder months to allow the plants to breathe and not be covered by the leaves and so on, I also wanted to take some pictures of my hellebores for a relief carving I wish to make. Well, Helleborus foetidus to be precise. I also have a penchant for Japanese acers and bamboo, but it is the hellere I wanted to do. I love my plants and find so much of what I see in the gardens and landscape around me featuring in my work, albeit at times abstract interpretations of what I see. I have often had the conversations with people whereby we agree that people often look at but don’t actually see or appreciate what is around them. Any arts or crafts require one to be able to visualise and see what it is they are making and how it works as a whole. Note: I do not say it is necessary to be able to draw, which is a contentious issue with some. I think that skill helps but it is not absolutely necessary to being a great carver.

The ability to see what it is you wish to create and what is happening as you work is, I believe, a fundamental necessity. This can be learned, although some are intuitively brilliant at it, and since it is a reductive process we use – it is difficult to add things once sections have been taken away – being able to see the whole picture, in the fullest sense of using all our senses for this purpose, is vital.

So seeing is active, not passive. As I am away this weekend I now have to wait two weeks before I can take my pictures. Ho hum, back to some turning, which by the way, is nothing more that a powered carving technique. I thought I would slip that one in to stir the dust a little. Whatever your thoughts you have to admit that there is a lot of cross over occurring and there is a natural symbiosis between the two disciplines. It is amazing how many people do both hand carving and turning and integrate the two.

Have fun.

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