Wood Shaving in the Kitchen

M and our neighbor carving

Several years ago, I bought M a carving knife from a nifty online store that carried left handed tools. I forget which one. It came from Japan – talk about mystique. But Dan thought we should wait a bit before handing it over. So it sat in my sewing desk drawer.

K carving

This year K drew M’s name from the Christmas hat, and was given a portion of the budget to buy him presents with (that experiment counted as something that worked in 2015). But her cover was blown because she turned to M and asked him to read her whose name she’d drawn!

I showed her the knife and suggested that she buy him some wood and sand paper, and get books out of the library about carving.

Our neighbor's bird, chess pieces, and a stray tea cup

Meanwhile, our neighbor Gary, of chess club fame, has been carving bows and arrows out of arrow wood viburnum, and yew. He works in construction, and keeps his eyes open as he drives around the county (that’s how he found roadkill turkey feathers for fletching.) His favorite carving wood is catalpa, anyone local have a tree needed pruning?

The ash wood grackle his daughter used to play with during churchWhen his daughter was little, she always wanted to play with the bird carvings, so he made her an ash grackle that was so sturdy, she couldn’t hurt it. It was her special toy during long sermons.

After showing us the “circle of Bl-oo-d,” so we were less likely to cut one another (you swoop your arm around yourself, that’s the circle.  Anyone stepping inside your circle is in danger.) Gary showed us some of his knives, but his favorite is just a box cutter, which can go in either hand.  So much for fancy tools.  K picked up some of the moves right away.

Gary leads a boy scout troupe, hikes, birds, carves, teaches any available children whatever he’s been learning lately, and does not have time to watch TV.

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