Many things have made me smile over the past week starting with two lucky finds, one of which was a very old Tikar fertility doll from the Cameroons.
Not much is documented about these dolls except that they are used by the Tikar people for protection, fertility and power. I'm thrilled to be adding this lovely terracotta piece to my collection.
The other lucky find was a second hand book, African Hats and Jewelry by Duncan Clarke. It has huge double spread photographs of African textiles and jewelery which are really beautiful .... and I bought it for a song which certainly put a smile on my face.
We had a spate of hot days last week and I've been rushing to finish christmas orders but yesterday for the first time in months I felt that I was catching up which is quite a relief. I can now slow down and enjoy my work again and also relish the fact that two of the three pieces I carved for a christmas exhibition sold before the opening.
A Black-headed Oriel landed on the wall just above my head this morning. It gave several loud calls before flying off and then a second Oriel started calling from a low branch close by and I stood gawping at it for at least a minute. They are quite common but very shy so we don't often see them except for a quick flash of yellow high in the trees.
The next minute the rain came down so I've been confined to the house most of the day. Its given me a good excuse to dip into some of the books I've been wanting to re-read at a slower more contemplative pace than when I first read them..
This evening I am catching up with some beadwork which I usually do while watching TV.... like a chameleon with one eye on the screen and the other on the beads.
The highlight of my week has been my interview with Leslie Miller. Leslie has a knack for making people feel good about themselves. I've enjoyed the questions she asked, the emailing back and forth and the sharing of stories.
One of the questions made me stop and think . A question I have often asked myself and I'm still not sure that I've answered it fully.
Q: What is it about your medium of wood that calls your name?
A: I often think of this and can't quite put my finger on it. As a child on the farm I loved the outdoors. I loved to touch and feel nature in my hands. The smoothness of acorns and pebbles, the roughness of bark, the hollowness of a birds nest, the grainyness of river sand.....anything tactile under my hands. When I was allowed to use my mom’s carving chisels at a young age I found that I could create many tactile qualities in the wood myself. Magic!
If you'd like to read the rest of the interview, go here. You might enjoy asking yourself the same questions. I had a few AHA! moments as I thought about my answers. Thanks Leslie for a great interview!