My Sculpture and a few other things

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“Janus” head, or “Two-face”. The evil side of mankind. Live Oak. 12″ high.
“Janus” head, or “Two-face”. The good side of mankind, a Gandharan Buddha of the 4th century. Live Oak. 12″ high.
Janus head: side view. Law and Order, or repression. The other side sympolizes freedom, using the torch of freedom. Live Oak, 12 inches high.
Orpheus and Euridice fleeing the Underworld under the gaze of Hades. This is the moment when Orpheus loses his bargain with the Gods and thus his wife.
Phoenix II. A rotten piece of would saved and reborn as a tulip. 14″ high. Mexican Buckeye.
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“The Kobold” The Kobold (in England a Bluecap, in Cornwall a Knocker, in Wales, the Coblynau) is a sprite who lives in the rock around mines. He can be mischievous, and can turn nasty if you don’t leave some food for him. On the other hand, he can give warning of impending collapses. In this carving, which is made of a drill core in zinc ore from a mine in Tennessee., the kobold is holding up the roof (in which one can see the rich sphalerite ore) with one over-developed arm, while his other, rght arm, holds a hammer. He has pointy ears and a beard, and is perched on a steep rock slope. This rock was very hard (highly silicified limestone). The carving is about 8″ high. View from right side.
“The Kobold” The Kobold (in England a Bluecap, in Cornwall a Knocker, in Wales, the Coblynau) is a sprite who lives in the rock around mines. He can be mischievous, and can turn nasty if you don’t leave some food for him. On the other hand, he can give warning of impending collapses. In this carving, which is made of a drill core in zinc ore from a mine in Tennessee., the kobold is holding up the roof (in which one can see the rich sphalerite ore) with one over-developed arm, while his other, rght arm, holds a hammer. He has pointy ears and a beard, and is perched on a steep rock slope. This rock was very hard (highly silicified limestone). The carving is about 8″ high. View from left side.
“The Kobold” The Kobold (in England a Bluecap, in Cornwall a Knocker, in Wales, the Coblynau) is a sprite who lives in the rock around mines. He can be mischievous, and can turn nasty if you don’t leave some food for him. On the other hand, he can give warning of impending collapses. In this carving, which is made of a drill core in zinc ore from a mine in Tennessee., the kobold is holding up the roof (in which one can see the rich sphalerite ore) with one over-developed arm, while his other, rght arm, holds a hammer. He has pointy ears and a beard, and is perched on a steep rock slope. This rock was very hard (highly silicified limestone). The carving is about 8″ high. Front view.
“Solving the Puzzle”. Made for a friend of my daughter’s who has an autistic child. The puzzle piece is a symbol of autism. In my carving the person is inserting the final piece into a jigsaw puzzle. Limestone, 4″ high
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I began to carve objects from wood when a close friend here in Austin, a lady from south Wales, died. It struck me that it would be a nice memento for her sister, who still lives in Wales, to make a Welsh love spoon in memory of Gina.  Gina’s husband could take it over with him to the interment ceremony in April 2016.  I had never carved anything in my life, but I had a few tools in the garage, and some old scraps of 2″x4″ lumber, so I began to carve a spoon with a Welsh Dragon (y DDraig Goch) for a handle. For a model I used a small anthracite carving of the Welsh Dragon that I had bought on a trip to Wales many years previously.

The carving was remarkably successful, upon which my wife pointed out that it would only be fair to carve a spoon for the bereaved husband as well. So I made a Daffodil (the national flower of Wales) spoon for him.  My wife also needed something unique to give to Italian colleagues when she went over there for a conference, so I made another two spoons: an Etruscan chariot and a horned toad.

Then she announced that while she was gone in Italy it would be nice if I could make 20 card-holders  to tell our guests where to sit at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners!   I had several short pieces of roughly 1″ by 1″ moulding in the garage, all different and of different woods, so I set to work to make 20 tiny Texas animal carvings.

And from there the whole thing burgeoned: it turned out that several pieces of oak firewood on my woodpile had interesting possibilities, as did some very old redwood planking salvaged from a rotten deck – not to mention dead branches of Mexican buckeye that were going rotten in the yard.   So I made several pieces about a foot high, mostly allegorical, from these woods.

I started getting ambitious -collecting very large pieces of wood from fallen trees in the neighborhood.  Finally,  15 months and 48 carvings after beginning, I turned to stone.  My first stone sculpture was in scrap limestone that was given to me by a friendly stonecarver, and was of a Manx buggane (sort of a leprechaun, but much meaner) trapped by St. Ninian in the rock.   Then I carved a small two-tone pebble into a flower for our daughter, two of whose friends immediately suggested other carvings.  So far I’m up to eight stone carvings.

My wife, bless her soul, also wanted a small wooden tray for her birthday. Not satisfied with making her a tray, I painted an Enid Blyton-like scene of two old hedgehogs sipping tea and reading, the one seated on a toadstool and the other on a quartz crystal, both of them being watched by a jealous spider and ignored by a literate snail.  The two are seated by a yellow brick road in a large green meadow.  So now I will have to practice composing scenes in two dimensions!

It is an amazing thing to discover at the age of 74½  that one has an unsuspected talent, crude as it may be.  It is also daunting: in order to have any output at all one must work hard in the years left.