As well as this blog, I also have a website and Instagram page with lots more images of my work as well as a few more stories.
If you like woodcarvings, you might want to have a look.

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Woodcarving and working for a living

Whilst looking at the posts that I've put on the blog recently, I've realised how few of them are about carvings that are being worked on!

There's been a lot of work lately that has been more joinery/construction related, but I'm still running occasional carving workshops and making commissioned pieces. I suppose that I see the different strands of what I do as all being part of the same thing. I hope that you enjoy sharing it with me.

The work at Boiling Wells for St Werburghs City farm is something that I'm very lucky to have. As well as a bit of regular money coming in (handy when carving work is sporadic), it also gives the opportunity to work with some really amazing people of all ages and to be outdoors in what is about as close to nature as the British urban environment can get. Even when other work commitments mean that I miss doing some carving, it just makes getting back to the bench even sweeter.

I suppose that the same might be true for others who do jobs that make them wish they could be carving instead. I wouldn't want to speak for everyone (there are some pretty dreadful jobs out there!) but getting back to making feels even better for the time spent away from it.
Do I envy those who carve all the time for a living?      
Hmmm... I'm not sure that I do. It has to be said, first of all, that most professional carvers that I've met do have other work strands to keep them going in the hard times. It's good to be able to leave the bench, meet people and get a bit of sunshine (although British weather can mean that the latter isn't always possible!) Even top carvers frequently do a fair bit of teaching work to keep the money coming in.

It also helps to stop carving from feeling like the daily grind, which is occasionally possible even in a  job that you love. Ian Norbury once wrote:
'Do not envy the slick virtuosity of the trained professional carver - he trained in a hard school that left him with little time for self-expression and he will probably never regain what you have - the urge to transform your vision into wood.'    

Sometimes it's nice to have that space in which to enjoy carving.                                                              

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