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Art Show: Tangible: Art as Object

The Savage [beast]

by Paula J. Nelson

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I made this from a 'blank' taken from a pile of wood I bought to make a chess set... without a lathe. It is primarily carved using hand tools, with some help from a small rotary tool. I hadn't ever carved wood before, and wanted to get a feel for what it would be like, and at that point in time I was greatly admiring of pregnant bellies. This piece was a result. I made two other practice pieces of differently-shaped female torsos out of purpleheart wood (the 'red' half of the chess set), and entered the three of them as a group into the 2002 Northwest Wood Carver's Association show under the title 'Aspects of the Goddess'. They collectively won second place in their category. "Pregnant Goddess" is the only one I have left in my possession, since the other two sold right away. The finish on this piece is dozens of coatings of mineral oil, all hand-rubbed. The resulting finish is a beautiful glow, and this piece is infinitely touchable.


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