American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Whittling and wood carving

There is often time to sit and reflect during a trip into the woods and that time can be filled in a variety of ways. One is to sit with friends and chat. Another is to clear your site, set up shelter, get water, build a fire, etc. Yet another option is to kick back with a piece of wood and an idea, and whittle.

To some, whittling means reducing a branch to a pointy stick and lots of shavings. Others might make a ball in a cage, a y-branch rooster, a whistle, or any number of other fun projects. All you need is some creativity, a sharp knife, and some wood.

I have been noticing in movies more and more that the main characters whittle during their down time. I recently watched "Broken Trail" on AMC and Robert Duvall's character was constantly carving one thing or another when he wasn't off saving the girls or rounding up cattle. I recently saw another movie where the hero (Russel Crowe?) was carving some sort of animal while he was travelling by water.

The premise is simple, find the thing in the wood and carve away all the stuff that isn't that thing. Sounds easy right?

I've carved a few y-branch roosters, a wood spirit, a spoon, an owl, and several walking sticks but none of the projects has been as easy as it first looked. Heck, several of these projects are still awaiting completion.

Thanks for reading,



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