Saturday, 14 June 2014

To the Virgins, to make much of Time

It's Friday, it's been a long hard week of children being hot and irritable and when all I need is a weekend of rest, relaxation, some family time, some me time and, of course, a little bit of whittling, I came home this evening in the full knowledge that all of the weekend was going to be spent writing end of year reports, a job which as yet I haven't started but which needs to be finished and printed off and given to the head-teacher on Monday. It would be an understatement to say I was feeling cheesed off and more than a little sorry for myself.

But then I sat down for a few minutes with my ipad, just to catch up on my favourite blogs and I went to Alexander Yerks' website 'The Axe is Bold as Love' and felt completely lifted and inspired.

For those who haven't come across Alexander, he is a photographer, musician, film maker and carver who makes some lovely spoons and especially nice kuksas and a bit of a philosopher/dreamer who is 'dedicated to all things wooden'.

After just a few minutes looking at Alexander's beautiful photographs and carvings and reading a couple of his posts, expressing his irrepressible enthusiasm for carving and those who do it, I just knew I wasn't going to go to bed tonight before carving a spoon. So, at about 9:30, as the light was beginning to fade and when any sensible person would be packing away their tools, I got mine out, sat on the low wooden wall in my back garden and began to carve. And I was reminded once more of the rejuvenating effects of being outside, wood in my hand, an axe, a knife, the Fleet Foxes playing on my phone (to me the Fleet Foxes are the musical equivalent of the Foxfire books and the backing track to a lot of my carving) and I felt once more connected to that extended family of carvers who I know are all around the world, who understand the need to carve spoons without me having to explain it to them and who I knew were probably carving along with me at the self same time.

I made a spoon, a large cooking spoon.

It's not one of my best (nor are the photos!!); it's a bit rustic; the bowl is a bit too thin in one spot; I will leave it tooled and undecorated. I won't sell it or give it away - I will oil it and it will live in the stoneware pot on my kitchen window-sill and I will use it, cook with it, serve food with it and each time I do, it will remind me that there are more important things in life than end of year reports and that I should take Robert Herrick's advice and gather rosebuds while I can.

Thank you Alexander Yerks.

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