I was born and raised
TN. I often visited my grandparents’ country home in Batesville, MS, where I would watch my grandfather whittle
branches on the steps of their back porch. There was nothing spectacular about his method, and usually the only thing he ended
up with was a smaller branch, but the time I spent with him was quiet and intimate. We talked about everything and nothing,
and sometimes the sound of our voices paled in comparison to the simple sound of his pocket knife peeling away thin layers
of wood. Grandpa passed away in 1986.
odd years later and several hundred miles away in Northwest Arkansas, my wife Mary and I
were walking through the maze of outdoor booths at a local fair when I saw an older gentleman sitting at one of the booths,
peeling away thin layers of wood with a knife just like Grandpa used to do. But this gentleman was carving something. Honestly,
I don’t even remember what he was carving. But the sudden flood of memories made me want to go back to that place of
quiet and simplicity. The gentleman was part of a local woodcarving club, and he invited me to come join them. A year and
a half later, I am absolutely passionate about wood carving.
Most of the few
pieces I’ve done are relief carvings, but I have tried my hand at a few other methods. I recently completed a cane for
my wife’s grandfather. I even tried whittling. So far all I’ve been able to make is a smaller branch…