Thursday, March 27, 2008

A lost art revived; Master Carvers

Master Carvers

With our recent focus on the Lenten season, I will be regressing here to place a few posts online from a few choice items to catch you all up with some of the “special happenings” (grin) here in our home. For instance, I have yet to update you on the conclusions to our Monday Morning Learning Sessions, the second of three 8-week courses, and the children are definitely eager for me to fill you in.

Tonight I will show you what happens when a young man is gifted with a set of knives, guided with the aged hands of a grandfatherly figure who spends each week volunteering to teach a class all about his beloved craft. He is a gentle leader with a soft-spoken voice offering extremely patient instruction, giving of his time to serve our group, all because he has a heart for young people, hoping to make an impact on their lives by using his skills and talents, passing along instruction to keep his craft alive through yet - another generation.

Whittling away, and slowly making
something from a block of wood.

In his fine wisdom, he committed to spending a few hours each week teaching his skills and talent for a craft almost long forgotten in this day and age of children preferring to find continual stimulation in front of a screen playing video games, and following idle youthful pursuits, rather than finding a purpose for using their hands to create masterpieces, while obtaining simple pleasures by slowly forming something from a mere unsatisfying block of wood. He has shown them all how to carve wonderful keepsakes, becoming relaxed while whittling and sculpting their projects. His is an art he hopes to revive in students taking his classes, and so far, all those partaking in his courses have walked away amazed at the possibilities held within a small wooden box of carving knives.

This is the real secret of life – to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.

- Alan Watts (Work as Play)

He's so proud of his loon

Here's the complete and final product, a loon who graces our fireplace in the family room, on display for all to see. I've noticed that our son breaks out with a sweet grin on his face whenever he catches a glimpse of it, so very proud of his handicraft all compliments of a humble and gentle "Master Carver".