While waiting for the ordered wood, I will tell you a bit about my sculptures made in wood. The first one will be a sculpture inspired by fragility and delicacy – physalis, the so-called autumn lantern. Maybe it is not known to everyone.

In summer, it produces intensely orange flowers in the shape of a lantern. At once with a fading, the tiny parts die revealing an unbelievable skeleton. I recommend that you look at it whenever you have the opportunity. The most interesting is that in the middle of it appears a beautiful sphere of red fruit. The whole looks like a fairy tale.

Physalis 1

Physalis (2013, birch)

I decided to use the element of openwork. Initially, it was supposed to be an enlarged model, but with time I started to play with the form and gave up the openwork in favor of soft lines resembling a decaying fruit. It was a kind of sculptural experience for me because I have not had the opportunity to learn so intuitively before. Until now, I have been working on projects quite closely. With this sculpture I allowed myself to improvise.

I wanted to bring a dynamic moment of contact between two planes. I decided to put the form on a flat, large surface that is a counterweight and highlighting the contrast. It was a very experience – rich exercise. Regarding purely technical conclusions: if you are tempted to sculpt openwork forms straight from the trunk of a tree and not from a previously prepared skeleton, you can face a real task. Modern technology, of course, gives us more pleasant solutions like CNC 3D plotters, but I’m talking about artist-chisel-wood work.

I would advise against the selection of hardwood species, of course it looks more noble, it easily polishes and most importantly you will not need a stain because the wood texture defends itself, however, you must count on the fact that the work itself can mercilessly prolong because you have to work carefully not to damage the chisel. The second thing may be too much debris which makes it difficult to extract excess material from the openwork elements.

That’s why I recommend soft wood, but not with a bast. For example, linden or birch. It should be noted, however, that birch has knag spots that can also be problematic and are quite hard. Wood itself is hard. Maybe not  as hard as oak or ash, but not as soft as linden. And what captivated me – dry birch is white with a slight shade of pink gold. Linden, as it is said, is wood for sculptors. It is soft, it does not extend. However, it doesn’t have heartwood and because of that it can easily break. I suppose that it will not go well without staining because it is simply yellow;) But that’s a matter of taste.

When it comes to sculpting the trunk from fruit tree, pay attention to cut it to the limit of our sculpture. Fruit trees, unfortunately, have it to themselves that often in the middle are empty, rotten or simply sick. If at this border in the cross section you will see earth stains in the middle or hardening, you will probably find a surprise there 😉

It all depends on what you sculpt and whether it will disturb you. Often a knot or some other wood defect well guided by the artist can give a drama or character to a sculpture. As for the play with a form of wood itself – I recommend it immeasurably. It is worth investing your time in an exercise that will broaden your consciousness. You will find out how easy it is to spoil something, how important is the project in working with wood. When you know the material with which you work and when you will love it – you will be able to do whatever you want with it.

What is important: You can not be afraid! If you  base on what you know all the time, you will never go forward. You have to constantly look for new solutions. Depending on the type of wood and what you want to carve. If one in 10 sculptures will be WOOOW –  that’s  great. 9 others will give you some experience 😉

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