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Re: A wood carving I just finished

I like it a lot and my wife does too! Those are nice keep sakes or gifts. I've said to Wrangler the other day that I think you are the most diverse in talent on this web site. There may be others but many people don't feel comfortable about sharing their art forms. Its a shame because its not bragging. Its about being happy with what you come up with and frankly I think is an encouragement to others to try new things.

Now I'm not bragging but I'm better than average person at carving. My dad got me started when I was in the second grade by carving potatoes to learn how to shape figures and later harder woods that obviously are more hazzardous to work with. So learning the wood characteristics is very important not just for shaping but for safety. I can't remember cutting myself more than a couple of times until I started losing strength in my hands about 10 years ago when arthritis started to affect them. But my point here is I didn't just appreciate your work but learned something from you in this post. I'd never heard of kevlar gloves being used for carving purposes. You can bet I will be looking for some now. I may buy a few smaller pair for two of my grandsons who have taken up carving already if they make them that small.

Saying the above about my grandsons reminds me of last Christmas. My son bought one of his son's a nice knife for a present. I observed it obviously wasn't discussed between my son and his wife because when the present was opened at our family gathering at our house, the wife looked on commenting disapprovingly. In fact she said he'll probably cut his finger off. I kid you not it wasn't 3 minutes later that while we were watching the other two sons open their gifts we heard a small whimper and looked around to see a wince on his face and blood trickling to the floor. I know I can't tell you what the other two boys presents were and I doubt anyone but their mom knows either. Me I snickered and said, "Yep he's a Weldon alright!" And the 5 year old said "I told him it was dangerous!" Well this Christmas my son in the same family setting and tradition handed his son a rather long package to open. He tore feverishly at the wrappings and what did he pull out .... a bush axe? I immediately took him aside and started instructing him on proper use before he cut his toe off.

I'm sure you already know this but most people don't that may read this. The hands are historically known to be the hardest thing to paint or to carve. In fact artists were paid extra for hundreds of years to include hands in a painting at almost double the price. I'm sure Ed would verify this. If you look at older paintings and many carvings you will note they are usually in a position to allow the elimination of one finger. Almost all cartoons have figures with only 3 or 4 digits. So no one has any right to expect anyone to do well in reproducing hands in art forms. I think you did a GREAT job and would be proud to display it. I think more is to be achieved by incorporating other details as you have because the average person isn't even going to look at the hands and appreciate how arduous and complicated it is. One final tidbit on art ...... The three most cited paintings and sculptures by common folk not schooled in art are the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, and the Praying Hands.

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