Two old men, radiating contentment… Their trade seemed to have been a refuge for them. Perhaps their serenity came from making things that gave pleasure to others. Or making things they knew would outlast them, give them a little power over the grave. Leaving behind physical evidence that they had lived and were creative agents in the world. Maybe it was that they had spent a lifetime swimming in a sea of harmonious form, that this had osmosed into them, and then as the years went on it began phosphorescing out in a cloud of benign tranquility. Or was it something in the activity of woodcarving itself that gave them, at last, their moral radiance?
— David Esterly, The Lost Carving: A Journey to the Heart of Making, Viking 2012
Also by David Esterly: Grinling Gibbons & the Art of Carving, V&A 1998
Well.. I will waste no time in acquiring Mr Esterly’s books. Thank you.
I think you’ll like them, Scott. The sketch, by the way, is of a little carving I picked up a few years ago by Paul Caron who carved in Quebec in the 50s and 60s (if my research is correct). Anyway, the carving itself has such a perfect expression of serenity. Judging by how many of his figures seem to be on ebay at any time, he must have been incredibly prolific.
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