Exercise for My Brain

Exercise for My Brain

In the early 1980s I was making woven pieces and attaching them

Woven chenille fabric with driftwood.

to pieces of driftwood. Sometimes the driftwood had a damaged end that I wanted to alter, so I took some basic wood carving classes sponsored by Livermore Recreation at “The Barn”.

I learned to use an assortment of gouges to make a relief carving—where the image emerges out of a solid piece of wood, and the uncarved edges form the frame. This is like a picture, as opposed to a free-standing 3-D carving.

June 13, 1965 is the day I was married to Ray Erickson. Ray was a dedicated stamp collector. He didn’t have much use for hand-made woven things, so I made him a carving of one of his favorite commemorative stamps as a Christmas gift. After carving the image, I painted it to match the stamp.

Wood Carving of Commemorative Stamp

In wood carving, the artist needs to think the opposite of what he does with other art forms. Carving or sculpting requires you to remove the parts of the picture or image that don’t belong there. In painting, print making, drawing, collage, and clay work the artist is adding materials to define and enhance the desired image.

Carving totally turns your mind around. It creates new connections in your brain.

Carving a rubber stamp of your initials or a favorite image will do the same thing.



2 thoughts on “Exercise for My Brain

  1. This is wonderful, Marilyn! First of all, I think it was great that you posted this one on the same day you were married to Ray. And secondly, I love that you have worked on so many different mediums, from textiles, to wood, to paint, weaving, and more! I love reading about your hand-work 🙂

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