Creating unique pieces clears my mind for writing and editing my work. Something about the rhythm of the mallet tapping on the chisels frees up my brain. I don’t know how, it just know it works. Whether it’s turning a gnarled branch into a candleholder, hollowing out a bowl, or simply discovering inspiration among my beloved trees, I can say: I found it in the forest.
Hollowed out a cottonwood burl made into a bowl.
Candleholders from a chunk of Douglas Fir and a beetle killed Ponderosa branch.
Occassionaly I break out the woodburner for a bit of freehand pyrography, like this coat hanger. Like the best of writing, I just let it flow, and see where it takes me.
Things don’t always go as expected with woods or words. Just as the spoon was nearing completion, I broke it. But I keep it on my workbench as a reminder that failures are okay, as long as I learn from them.
And when my writing hits a snag, I look at that spoon and remember: keep trying.
Ideas often come from learning new things. Even when we think we know all there is about something, we soon find there is much we don’t know, if we make the effort to look. Taking my field guide on a walk on the forest and looking up the different species of trees as I came to them led me to a new story idea.
And sometimes just sitting with a giant, ancient tree like this Ponderosa is enough.