Thursday, July 31, 2008

Learning to See

Very interesting thread going on over on the WCI site which I have started posting to .

Lot's of thought provoking posts about learning to carve and reaching that "ah ha" moment when the thread initiator started seeing the combination of tools & cuts necessary to create a carving he was looking at. i.e. Able to deconstruct how the carving was created. Touches on lot's of very interesting ideas - left brain right brain, Eastern Philosophy vs Western, how we learn, impediments to learning to carve etc.

Check it out.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What is Woodsmyths Muse?

So I coined the term "Woodsmyths" to take as my "company" name to one day market my carvings. (NOTE: This is really only a placeholder site for now since I am still developing my skills and VERY slowly building up an inventory of carvings to sell.) This term blends the double meaning - Woods Myths (Myths from the wood) and an altered spelling of Woodsmith (i.e. worker of wood as in Silversmith: created from the forest using natural materials wood, bark, stone etc.). I added Muse as I see the Blog as an exercise in self-exploration and getting in touch with "the Muses" to forge my creativity for woodcarving.

One series of books that I am reading and that I find fascinating and the Mythago Wood cycle by Robert Holdstock. I have read the first book (Mythago Wood) and the last book (The Hollowing), and am currently reading the middle book (Lavondyss). The books tell the stories of various characters who interact with a mysterious forest in the English countryside - which seems to bring to life within its borders the "myths and imaginings" of the people around it. These beings are referred to a "Mythagos". If the beings leave the borders fo the wood - they die. It is a wood which is primal - having never been developed since the dawn of time, and which though seeming small from the outside - displaces time & space on the inside providing an entire "other world" to interact with. I am still trying to digest this series and feel I'll need to read it a few times. They are not "happy" books - as the characters meet with both their "good" and "bad" mythagos to varying consequences.

This series is a perfect example of fantasy that resonates with me and incorporates many themes which I find of interest. Highly recommended. In the second book (Lavondyss) the main character - Tallis - is the 12 or 13 year old younger sister of a character (Harry) from the first book. She creates a set of masks carved from the bark & wood of various species of trees which seem to represent various mythologic architypes. Not sure yet of their purpose or function. I am thinking of trying to create my own versions of these masks. Might be a cool project.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Welcome - step inside my mind!

Yes - I supposed getting into someone else's head can seem a bit strange, a little off, or even weird. But clearly you've got nothing better to do if you're taking the time to read this. So sit back and ponder along with me the mysteries of life, the universe and well . . . um, everthing. Ok, maybe that's a bit too broad (and besides, those in the know are already aware of the answer - it's 42). So why am I writing this and even more to the point, why should you waste your valuable time reading this drivel?

Hmmm . . . well, I thought I'd jump into this world of blogging for a few reasons.

1. I've worked in the world of web sites as a Sr. Business Analyst for larger corporations mostly in the financial and publishing industries for the last 13 years. Yet I've had no experience with creating blogs to date. I was curious to learn more about them so here I am.

2. I occassionally have some free time riding on a train for 2 1/2 hours into and out of NYC to work each day that when it isn't used for working, ends up being used to read, ponder life, and too often to examine in minute detail the backs of my eyelids. So why not start writing?

3. I have several interests which might provide ample fuel for such an endeavor and sharing my musings may in fact help someone else with similar interests. Among these are: simplicity, the art of living, raising a family, music, art, literature, history, nature, religion, politics, group dynamics, systems theory, human potential, self improvement, technology, mythology, geology, theology, and the other various -ologies on a list that goes on forever.

So over the course of however long I manage to keep this thing going you can expect to share in my exploits across this vast range of subjects as I struggle to make my way through life and hopefully we'll understand & enjoy a little of it.