Friday, April 29, 2011

Mother’s Day Gift Basket

What mother does not like to cook? Yes I know many fathers like to cook also but this is Mother’s Day that is coming upon us. The day you profess to her how much you love her. Why not do it with a cooking theme. Yes I do mean cook for her. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert or even a salad could clearly place a smile on her face. So how do we spin this with a small gift from The WoodArt Studio? Easy!
#322 Walnut Salad Utensil Set

First find a favorite recipe and one that you will be able to make for her, so if you are not the best cook then keep it simple, hence the salad. Purchase one of our hand carved spoons or salad utensils. You should do this fairly quickly if you need to have us ship it to you. Then travel to your favorite local market and purchase all of the ingredients to create your special gift for mom. Pack all of the makings and your new unique WoodArt spoon or salad utensils in a pretty basket, add a card with the recipe that you plan to create for her and ta-da you have a personalized gift that she will hold in her heart for a life time. And oh when you actually cook it for her and wash the dishes afterward you will have created the perfect Mother’s Day. Look forward to hearing from you and until next week enjoy. Now I have to go out and cull my lettuce.

Friday, April 22, 2011


#101 "Daisy"

"Daisy, Daisy/Give me your answer do/I'm half crazy/all for the love of you". So the lyrics of the 1892 Harry Darce song go. We were so in love with the way this lady turned out that we also named her “Daisy”, which also happens to be the nickname of my Grandmother.

Our “Daisy” was born in 2010 right here in Virginia. She has a genealogy of different trees. Her body is Birds Eye Maple that was first turned and then flipped inside out. The bottom half of her body is slightly dyed a soft green. The upper part of her torso has four hand carved Cocobolo buttons. Her head is a smooth, rich Cocobolo also. The hat that sits askew on her head is hand carved Yellow Heart. From any angle she is pure pleasure to look at, like the Mona Lisa, simply art. I have posted in the Studio Gallery a side view of her.

Daisy would make a most memorable Mother’s Day gift but keep in mind like your Mother there is only one Daisy. Until next time, create your day.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Cross of Easter

I can not think of a better time then the onset of Easter to introduce to you the two crosses that Steve has designed. People at market had asked him if he ever had carved a cross. It took some time but he had finished two of them a couple of weeks ago. I found it quite calming when I took the photos of them both and can envision you holding either one in the palm of your hand as you study scriptures year round.

This first one was hand carved from a piece of Bloodwood that was purchased while we lived the life in NY. Bloodwood is a tree that grows in South America and has this deeply moving rich color to it. It has been hand-rubbed many times to bring out not only the luster of the wood but making it smooth to the touch when you hold it in your hand.

#284 Bloodwood Cross
This second cross is again hand carved except this time from a piece of Oak. There is strength and hardness in the Oak tree which does make it a challenge to carve. While this design is a little chunkier in body and feel it would still be fine to hold during your scripture readings or meditation. 

#291 Humble Oak Cross

Until next time may your week be serene and full of joy.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hand Crafted by the Artist

Hand crafted by the artist!

Pretty powerful statement when it is read aloud. No employee to help along with the formation of art. Choose the wood, dream the piece, lift the wood, choose the tool, turn or carve the piece, finish, sand (several times) and finally present the piece. Yes, truly some pieces take longer than others due to size, shape and character of wood. Wet wood, dry wood; days into months finally finished into that truly one-of-a-kind piece. Sure from time to time there may be another one that is similar but due to the nature of trees being unique unto themselves nothing that Steve makes will ever be duplicated exactly the same. How awesome would that be if you were able to own something that no one else will ever have. Something even as simple as a wooden spoon or bowl will take on a whole new meaning when you gift it to yourself or someone else.

#209 Maple Burl Noggin
For all intents and purposes today I want to show you a beautiful hand carved and somewhat hard to find piece called a “noggin”. First mentioned in the mid 17th century for use as a small cup or spoon type utensil a noggin hung from the person’s belt, always available for use when hunger fell upon the knight or faire lady. Its use later spread to North America and can still be found dangling on the side of a costumed medieval faire attendee.  In modern day American homes you can find them used in various situations even as far as to keep it in the bathroom as a scoop for your bath beads. Currently we have them available carved from Ailanthus, Box Elder and Maple Burl, in fact the profile picture for the blog and The WoodArt Studio facebook page is of Steve hand carving one of the Ailanthus noggins. If you want to own one of these specially carved pieces for your own hurry as we are heading into faire season once again. Email us for pictures of the others that are still available.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Leaf in the Garden

Light snow fell in the Valley this week much to my dismay. Some of the really nice weather that we had last week spoiled me into thinking that spring was here with summer soon to follow. Buds are starting to pop and the leaves that I should have raked up last year are all over the land. Steve has been fascinated with leaves for a long time now. In fact during our time in NY on lunch time walks I use to bring back to him different colorfully shaped leaves. I think that he use to imagine craving them sometime in the future. Well the future is here today.

About a month ago he happened upon a piece of Catalpa, perfect for the carving of the Leaf Bowl you see below. What a beautiful grain is running through the wood. It was a challenge to carve if only to get the bends of the leaf all in the right spots. You can see the vein that stretches down the center, which is also prominent on the back of the piece. A very delicate stem was added to the end of the leaf, naturally. The bowl is of decent size (able to hold 4-5 medium size apples). Surly this could be the centerpiece on your dining table.

#306 Catalpa Leaf Bowl
So where is this bowl today? How about in a place full of exciting discoveries and surprises? It was first introduced at the Farmers Market last Saturday and then it went to OASIS Art Gallery in downtown Harrisonburg, VA where it will be part of April’s group show “The Secret Garden” based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, until it may find its way into someone else’s homey garden. How about yours? Until next week may all your secrets bloom forth in your garden of leaves.