Carvings

Woodwork is an art and to many – a forgotten or ‘dark’ art. Woodwork is used in architecture, modelling, music, furniture, automobiles, education, toys and it is also collectable.

woodpuzzleAt times I have just stated some facts, or given some opinions or just wondered about things I see and take pictures of. This time, I’m asking for a little help.  I have two photos of the same item here. I used to play with this as a child, when I visited my grandparents’ home. As a child you take a lot for granted and accept things for what they are. However, as we age, we see things in a new light and often what we saw and accepted as ‘the obvious,’ at the time, becomes a point of consternation when we suddenly realise the complexities of what we were looking at. For further details on this topic, see original post.

lucene wooden bridgeLucerne’s Chapel Bridge is a charming covered wooden footbridge which crosses the Reuss River over Lucerne, Switzerland. The bridge was named after St. Peter’s Chapel and its uniqueness and popularity is due to its exquisite, triangular paintings by Hans Heinrich Wägmann, who depicted Lucerne’s history in the triangular architraves of the bridge. The original panels were mostly made from spruce, although some were made from linden wood or maple boards. Unfortunately, due to a destructive fire on 18th  August, 1993, which destroyed two-thirds of the bridge,  many of these original paintings were destroyed.  After the fire, the remains of 47 paintings were collected, although only 30 could only be fully restored. The Kapellbrücke was reconstructed and re-opened to the public on April 14, 1994.

mulga woodMulga-Wood -has been used extensively for Australian souvenir and gift-ware throughout the middle of the 20th century and is largely considered ‘kitsch’.  Its height of popularity probably began in the Inter-war Years and continued through to the 1960s and 1970s.  Mulga or true mulga is a shrub or small tree, native to arid outback areas of Australia.  (acacia aneura). The Aboriginal people have long used mulga for digging sticks and woomeras due to its strength.  This photo shows some examples of use for mulga-wood.

totemTotem poles are monumental sculptures carved from large trees, using mostly Western Red Cedar, by cultures of the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. The word totem is derived from the Ojibwe word odoodem, “his kinship group”. The meanings of the designs are as varied as the cultures that make them. They may recount familiar legends, clan lineages, or notable events. Some poles celebrate cultural beliefs, but others are mostly artistic presentations. Certain types of totem poles are part of mortuary structures, and incorporate grave boxes with carved supporting poles, or recessed backs for grave boxes. Here’s my original post.

matryoshka setA matryoshka doll, also known as Russian nesting/nested doll, refers to a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside the other. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about its history.

They are sometimes incorrectly referred to as “babushka dolls”. The first Russian nested doll set was carved in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin from a design by Sergey Malyutin, who was a folk crafts painter at Abramtsevo. Traditionally the outer layer is a woman, dressed in a sarafan, a long and shapeless traditional Russian peasant jumper dress. The figures inside may be of either gender; the smallest, innermost doll is typically a baby turned from a single piece of wood. Much of the artistry is in the painting of each doll, which can be very elaborate. The dolls often follow a theme, aside from the typical traditional peasant girls, the themes vary, from fairy tale characters to Soviet leaders. The word “matryoshka” (матрёшка), literally “little matron”, is a diminutive form of the Russian female first name “Matryona” (Матрёна). Original post here.

Stone carvings

Here’s an early Irish example from the Rock of Cashel.

Back to Decorative Arts page.

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