Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Been Stuck in a Rut
It has been some time since I have made a posting here on the Old Stump Blog. I have been shocked at the number of visits I have still been getting, even though there has been no new information posted for some time. I thank you for your patience and for your encouragement. I have been performing some deep introspection as of late and I have come to some important realizations.
I guess you could say that I began my adventures in carving way back in my youth, back when I was a boy scout. I remember vividly the dull blades and the many bandages as I began to whittle. I had a few corners of my “Tote and Chip” card torn off for improper use of a knife before I got a real hang of how to wield it properly against an unsuspecting block of wood. I spent countless hours whittling thick sticks into skinny ones, blunt sticks into pointy ones, and chunks of wood into unrecognizable figures of my own imagination. Needless to say, I wasn’t very good. But, as I look back, I realize that at that very young age I began my love for sharp knives and the smell and feel of wood.
After adolescence, I laid my pocket knife down to pursue the American dream of family and fortune. Now, approaching middle age, I have found true joy in family. My sweet wife of eighteen years and I are expecting our eleventh child next month. I don’t know what we have done to deserve so many wonderful children. We have been deeply and richly blessed by a loving Father in Heaven. I have truly found the American dream.
Back in 2006 I was finishing my bachelor’s degree in engineering and recognized that I was lacking something positive to do in my spare time. I wanted to find a hobby that I could participate in at home while still surrounded by my beautiful wife and wonderful children that would produce something of personal value for my time spent. I remembered back to my childhood and the fun I had as a pocketknife-toting boy scout. I recalled the relaxing feeling that came as each wood shaving curled up and floated gently to the ground at my feet. After spending many hours searching the internet, I came across several online tutorials that inspired me to take the plunge back into the world of woodcarving.
Armed with new-found knowledge and a resolute determination, I drove to my local craft store and purchased the only carving set they had available. The tools were of terrible quality and so dull that my muscles strained with every stroke. But, not knowing any better, they felt so right in my hand; I had found my carving home again.
That was the ledge from which I launched myself onto my more serious adventures in woodcarving. I proceeded to follow how-to books and online tutorials until I was confident enough to venture off on my own carving paths. My style may have some resemblance to those carvers who had and early influence over my directions, but I believe I can truly say that I have developed my own, unique style.
I hope you will forgive me this moment of personal reflection. I have been stuck in the middle of a carving slump for the past few months from which I have been struggling free myself. I was offended recently by a fellow carver where unwarranted accusations were made. Although these statements were baseless, I took it rather hard. It has taken me some time to work through these feelings. But now, with the help of my loving Savior, I can honestly say that I am past this and hold no ill will toward any individual. What a blessing it is to have the help of the Lord in overcoming a difficult trial.
Now that I have let you all into my life and given you a glimpse into my heart, it’s time to move on to the next adventure in woodcarving. After many requests, I have decided to push forward with the cowboy tutorial and give this old cowpoke a place to rest his weary head. I am currently in the process of putting together the next installment where we will carve a suitable torso for this fellow and turn the carving into a presentable bust that will look great on any mantel. I have completed the carving of the bust and am endeavoring to gather the photos and descriptions into a logical and hopefully instructive collection. Look for the tutorial to be posted within the next few days.
Thank you so much for reading my reminiscent ramblings. It’s nice to be out of the slump and making chips again. Once again, I truly appreciate your support and hope that this next section of my tutorial will not let you down.
Happy carving to all,