Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Feature of the Day #41: Woodforddell Designs

hand carved Osage Orange  wooden love spoon
Osage Orange Wood Spoon
Today's feature goes to Woodforddell Designs, AKA, Sharon and her wonderful sculptures.
Sharon has had a love for art and creating things her entire life. Not only is she a sculptor, but a quilter and a carver, along with anything else that strikes her creative fancy. Her wood carving skills are self-taught, with help from her fellow carvers. Each one of her creations is created with long-practiced skill and great patience. Because she doesn't like repetition, each carving is one-of-a-kind. Some may be similar, but they are never exactly the same. 
Most of the wood Sharon uses for her creations is from the prunings of trees from her property, but she also receives woods from friends and family. She even reuses the wood of old furniture and discarded items, then transforms them into something amazing. Her carvings include spoons, faces, hair accessories, and utensils to name a few. 
Wood tree spirit- green man- hand carved- present for Fathers Day- birthday gift-log cabin decor
Her favorite thing to carve faces into are roots and driftwood. Sharon has an uncanny knack for noticing the potential for an object, then bringing it out. Like a true sculptor, she can see what others can't: opportunity. To many, it may be a worthless piece of wood from a dead tree, but to her it's Chip, a cranky piece of wood who almost got chopped up. 
Chip (shown left) started life as a shrub/tree called "Pieris formosa var. forrestii," that took up residence in her parent's yard. As it become old and started to wither, her father cut it down and gave her a piece of the wood. From this, Sharon carved Chip. He even bears some battle scares from almost getting cut up by the ban saw. But Sharon saw Chip in the wood and carefully cut him out. The cranky look upon his face is perhaps a result of almost getting chopped up. It's a true show of skill and dedication that so much life can be see on such a small piece of wood. 
hand carved wood spirit-oak tree spirit-green man sculpture
There is an undeniably strong connection between Sharon and her creations, spanning further and deeper than we can guess at. These connections can be seen in every one of her pieces, but perhaps none so strong as her piece, Olie, (right) whom she quite literally rescued from the fire. This is her description of Olie's discovery:
This is Olie! I was on a camping trip with my family and kicking the fire in, when I noticed this last bit of oak on the edge of the fire pit. It called out to me and said, "Stop! I'm Olie and I'm here if you just let me out I will bring a smile to you!" So that's what I did with this piece of oak. And even though he took a least 30 hours or so to get him out, he did make me smile with his chubby cheeks, front and back!
Sharon's dedication lead her to carving each hair individually with a hand held micro gouge; a time consuming project made harder by the fact Oak is a very hard wood.
Sharon is constantly making new and unique creations, and would love to share them with you! To see many more examples of her keen eye and beautiful craftsmanship, visit her Etsy store today!

Be Creative today!
~Squirrel Creek Creations
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