Saturday, December 15, 2012


Driftwood Christmas Trees. Click.

I always enjoy Neil Gaiman's Christmas/New Year message. This one is last year's message ... in case you missed it :-)    

"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family life.

Whatever is is you're scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever."  -  Neil Gaimen

Wishing all my blog readers
Everything of the Best
and thank you
thank you !
for reading my blog.
I'm taking a blog break over the holiday season
and will be back in January.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


 Handheld figure by Robyn Gordon

I set out to carve a figure that fits comfortably in the hand and which would eventually develop a patina from handling it. It has a long way to go :-)

 Power figures by Robyn Gordon

I love the patina on wooden objects which are used daily.

Photo by David Lacina. Click here to see more of David's photos.

Look at these beautiful headrest/stools which are still used all over Africa. They are carried around by tribesmen wherever they go (hoping, perhaps for a cat nap under a tree) .

 How Kenya's Turkana men sleep by Victor Englebert. See Victor's blog here.

African headrests are carved out of a single piece of wood to the correct height and size to fit the user's head. The headrest should keep the head off the ground and keep the hair-do from being mussed.

Photos by Eric Lafforgue. See website here.

They are also used to sit on.... especially if the terrain is thorny.

 Hamer Grandpa, Ethiopia by Manon van der Lit.  Click here to see more of Manon's photos on Flickr

Carved dolls are handled daily by young women who wish to be blessed by the fertility deity, in the hopes that one day they will conceive beautiful, healthy, fat babies. They are worn tied in front ......

..... carried on the back ...

Akuaba Doll, Ghana. Photo credit: Herbert M. Cole.  More information here.

.... or played with in much the same way as my daughters played with their dolls.

Dassenech girl with doll by Eric Lafforgue. See website here

In Angola the Mucubal babies wear Ombeleketha talismans on their backs until the baby is walking.

Mucubal baby, with talisman  by Eric Lafforgue. See more of Eric's wonderful photos on Flickr here  or on his website here

With daily handling the patina of these objects deepens with sweat and natural oils. Some times goat fat is rubbed into the wood.

Agere-Ethiopia's photos on Tumblr. See more here.

It's easy to tell the difference between newly carved objects and those which have been used constantly for food preparation and storage.

Eric Lafforgue. Website here.

Hands of Samburu Tribeswoman by Keren Su. See more of Keren's work here

Walking sticks develop a lovely smooth sheen where the hands constantly grip ...

Agere-Ethiopia's photos on Tumblr. See more here.

..... and then there are the guns which unfortunately also develop a well used sheen.

Agere-Ethiopia on Tumblr. See more here.