Garden Diary - March 2021

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Carving a Tree
Monday, 22 March 2021

Travelling up and down Route 12 there's a front yard close to the road where someone has been carving wood. It's more than whittling with a pocket knife. I'm talking about larger than life size, sculpting from a massive length of tree trunk.

One will be there for a while, then it is gone. Eventually there's another one. When the Steve & Son tree crew was finishing up their work for us, Paul and I were talking to James, the red bearded one. He showed us some pictures on his phone - a lady liberty, an octopus. Carved from trees. The work, he told us, of Greg Napolitan. On Route 12. Less than a week later I was running some errands and photographing flowers around town as I went. And as I passed that property I saw someone was carving

It took several back-and-forth loops along the road to get on the correct side of the road and the proper driveway. There was enough space to pull off to the side of the road, stop the car and turn on my flashers. Camera in hand I walked up the driveway and stood for a few minutes until

the man, ear protectors on, happened to turn sufficiently to notice me.
We chatted a bit, I asked permission to photograph, he said sure. So I did.

This overview should give you some idea of the scale of this spirit warrior.

For whatever reason I think of the warrior as Aztec. Greg says he will hold
a sword. Below, a pair of clawed raptor feet. And a massive bear's paw.

An article in Encyclopedia Britannica notes that: "Whatever material is used, the essential features of the direct method of carving are the same; the sculptor starts with a solid mass of material and reduces it systematically to the desired form. After he or she has blocked out the main masses and planes that define the outer limits of the forms, he or she works progressively over the whole sculpture, first carving the larger containing forms and planes and then the smaller ones until eventually the surface details are reached."

Well beyond a chain saw, Greg is fine tuning his design with a disc sander.

The warrior has bold features but what you see here
is not his nose. I happened to catch Greg's elbow . . .

We agreed that I might come back another time.

So much more in the way of possibilities, than turning logs into lumber or firewood.

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