The Sacred Process

The Sacred Process

Is labor a sacrament?  The invitation of the Eighth Day?  A sacred collaboration with the living God?  I can’t help but to note that the call to labor in the garden came before the curse of toil.  I am certain that labor is about more than just earning my bread.  There is something deeper there, not just for the artist, but for the ditch digger and the roofer, the farmer and the nurse.  “Whatever you think, it’s more than that…”  ISB.

summer woodwork - 6

 

summer woodwork - 1

summer woodwork - 2

summer woodwork - 8

summer woodwork - 3

summer woodwork - 4

summer woodwork - 15

summer woodwork - 14

summer woodwork - 12

summer woodwork - 11

summer woodwork - 13

summer woodwork - 5

summer woodwork - 7

summer woodwork - 10

summer woodwork - 9

summer woodwork - 19

summer woodwork - 20

summer woodwork - 21

summer woodwork - 22

summer woodwork - 24

summer woodwork - 23

summer woodwork - 26

summer woodwork - 25

summer woodwork - 27

summer woodwork - 29

summer woodwork - 28

summer woodwork - 17

summer woodwork - 16

summer woodwork - 35

summer woodwork - 18

summer woodwork - 30

summer woodwork - 32

summer woodwork - 31

summer woodwork - 33

summer woodwork - 34

The Rich Story of Carved Lines

Usually the prints I make are deeply personal illustrations of my heart, vision and journey.  From the early days printmaking has been, to me, a form of prayer, offering up to the Father layers of concern and expression of things I do not often fully comprehend.  Within that context is a platform to explore the visualization of spiritual concepts, revelations and principles- basically a blundering effort to make the unseen seen on some level.  I wonder that I am taken up with making a “graven image”  and how that settles with the second commandment (Exodus 20 verse 4 if you are interested).  Hopefully, what I am making are objects that are doors or windows that might lead one into worship, certainly they are far from worshipful in themselves.  I take comfort that the Merciful One will ultimately be the judge of my heart on this one.

These images here, are a divergence in a way, in that, they are the mixture of my expression and visual language with the story and purpose of two other entities.  The first of those is Matt Eich of Mule Resophonic GuitarsHe has been building these beautifully crafted and, by all accounts, almost magically sounding guitars for five years now.  The resulting print will be the certificate of authenticity that will be presented with every instrument that he sells.  Matt is passionate about story and building rich relationships with his customers, and he invests personal expression into every instrument.  His sense of story has been woven together with mine here, I hope.

On a technical level, I am always in an attempt to push myself past where I was before in my work. It may only be in a way that is visible to my own eye. With printmaking I compose a design and I wonder if I will be able to pull it off- if the level of detail will translate as a small mammal, or a vine, or a bird- or just a confused tangle of ink. Many times it has resulted in the confused tangle. This print for Matt has tons of this risk built into the design, and I think his spirit has elevated me, because I somehow feel a door has been unlocked.  Of course, I really won’t know until the ink hits the paper- but there is hope that these tiny branches will be able to speak.

The second entity is the musical trio Sister Sinjin.  My good friend Elizabeth Duffy is part of this group of women who sing devotedly to the glory and love of God.  This image from this block will become the cover art for their upcoming record.  The contemplative spirit of their music really seems to offer a counterpoint to the industrious detail of the print I’m making for Matt.  I’ve noticed and appreciated the contrast as I have been working back and forth between these two blocks.  The quite offering of the woman and the persistent labor of the plowman.  Both have offered a lot of opportunity to grow and develop and express, and I am grateful.  There are many photographs of the carving process below, which is still underway in both cases, though I am nearly done with the Sister Sinjin block.

Walnut Timber Mantelpiece

The six and a half inch thick, 13 foot long walnut slab filled the shop as it came from the chainsaw mill.
Beam cutter on the old worm-drive
“rough-sawn” to the max
Using the “beam-cutter” to rip the slab into a six inch square timber
Pulling the saw at the end of the cut to save the last bit of slab for the corbels
Aluminum C-channel as a guide
start of the smoothing
a jack plane with a radius set to take heavy shavings
Now the joiner
pretty obvious
chopping out for a patch over a rotten knot
the same, fitted
filing the edges of a little copper butterfly template
bench-top with tools for making butterfly templates
variety of butterfly templates
Scribing the timber for butterflies to bind the main check
Routing out the waste
chopping the rest
right up to the knife line
ready for the joining
carving the corbels (my documentation fell off for most of this process)
mating the various natural edges of the corbels to the mantel
a little further back
fitting the opposite corbel
rough-cut cove on the left corbel
both corbels with coves-cut and awaiting final shaping
apply the final touches on the ends of the timber
“C” for the covenant
installed over the fire box, and the home-owner’s sandstone work.
I look forward to seeing it with the stone work done