I came on the Barbados art landscape at the time tourism was reaching a healthy climate and Caribbean Art was finding its place on the world map.
It is almost impossible to share my excitement in carving a piece of wood, unless you are a wood carver, a wood enthusiast, or a collector. The wood carving artist can only hope that the buyer at least feels a slight tingling of his experience. An artist cannot see the beauty in a piece of wood when the bark is on, even when you remove the bark, the beauty of the wood is still hidden.
The real orgasmic sensation comes when you start to carve into the warm sexy lines and curvy patterns, inspiring you to create forms that enables you, the creator to experience a high that only him or her can put into words. You can only hope to share the experience with some lucky appreciative customer. Sometimes it is a totally creative experience, no drawings, no prescribed object or form, just a silent communication between you, the wood, and tools.
As a businessman, your hope is that the buyer of the creative form can appreciate and share in your memories and language of the masterpiece. I can recall a few weeks ago, a lady picked a touch form that I distinctly remember carving. The same sensation being experienced, the tingling joy that was felt when the form was finally polished, with just mineral oil, like a beautiful lady without makeup.
The buyer looked at me like I was stark mad, she was buying a gift for a friend. But I could see that she really did not share my enthusiasm. In disappointment, I wished that her friend would see the beauty or perhaps she did not want me to see her excitement, in case I raised the price. It could not have been a coincident that she choose the most exciting form in the collection.
Discovering the beauty in wood as you carve is like seeing the model for an art class walk through the door in a heavy overcoat, then exposing her curvy naked body for you to recreate in clay. After many years of experimenting with different wood finishes, French polish, linseed oil, Tung oil, Min wax, polyurethane, etc., I finally ended up with mineral oil only, whether for sculptures or trays and bowls for food. The wood remains true to itself, as I noted before like a naturally beautiful woman without makeup.
I have carved many woods from all over the world, but my first love is mahogany, not too hard, termites would only eat the sap, it is warm, easy to both carve and sand. It is seductive and just plain beautiful.
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