Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The finest carvings

Hand carving is a craft enjoyed by many.  You can go to any craft show or Boy Scout Jamboree and find some kind of whittled piece - it's one of the oldest forms of sculpture.

Like any craft, there are certain parts of the world and certain examples which raise the practice of wood carving from a Craft to an Art.  Black Forest carvers have consistently shown some of the world's most excellent wood carvings for over a hundred years.  Black Forest carvings have adorned many household objects - and they work especially well when they are featured on clocks.

You can see the fine and lifelike detail on the antique clocks shown in previous posts...  The delicate vines, leaves, and even the feathers on the birds' backs are incredibly real - almost as if, as in some Black Forest folkloric scenario, the bird itself was turned to wood after being caught by a lover's magic spell.

This is an art not completely lost by the passing of time.  The tradition is still carried on by guardians of the art, deep in the cold and dark valleys of the Black Forest in Germany.  

This fine clock is one example of a modern extension of Justin's antique clock, found in the previous post.  It features a life sized, baby cuckoo - this one is stuck in a little cage, and has an animated beak and wings.  An un-traditional shape, this clock is able to incorporate a wild and impressive amount of carved vegetation... trees, vines, leaves... this piece is a feast for the eyes.

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