Learning from my mum the wood carver.
It's been a while since I used my knives and tools for woodcarving. But for Christmas I got two turned wooden mallets as a present from my mum. One is even made from the plum tree in my aunt's garden. They fit perfectly in my hands, but differ in size and weight.
If that's not the perfect reason to start woodcarving, I don't know what is. I got out my carving knives and was amazed at how tiny they are. The last time I used them was as a child. (On a side note: The knives are originally meant for "Notch Cut" (german Kerbschnitt), but I don't have any others so that's what I use... Using what I already have)
As a teen, I earned some pocket money by carving wood. I made a few sculptures for my freelance woodcarver mum, but mainly with a chainsaw and angle grinder. The figures were of a different scale to this tiny relief I was making now.
I put on my apron, took linden wood and the scissors that I inherited and just went off from there. I facetimed my mum while I was doing it, and it was just fun. Many memories of my childhood came back. Following the process, touching the wood, finding the form... To be honest, I didn't expect it to go so smoothly. But as I love to work with my hands, I enjoyed it a lot.
That takes me to a point I forgot to talk about. Reading again in Richard Sennett's 'The Craftsman' reminds me on one undeniable thing when working with hands: I am proud on what I did. I did it for the sake of doing it good, for the sake of learning and experiencing.
Interviewing my grandfather at the end of last year also underlines this truth. He is a learned chef, but craft is what he likes to do, he says. Because he further quotes that after cooking, people might come back if the taste was good, but with craftsmanship you have the result the next days, the next years, even if you did something wrong, it's still there.
(There is more about the interview to come. I also interviewed my mum, and asked her the same questions that i will later answer too. I hope to see how the passing of skills and values runs like a golden thread to the three generations in our family)