Saturday, July 7, 2007

The passion of whittling vs. writing

Until today, I thought I had nothing in common with my father's father.

My printer cartridge died this afternoon and I thought I had a backup downstairs in the basement. I never found it, but I did find this, a carving of a deer (or elk?) made by my grandfather in 1969. He was born in Norway in 1899 and died in Canada in 1978. I didn't know him well. He was a quiet, reclusive man (at least, that was my impression). Often when we visited, he'd spend most of his time in his little workroom, carving a variety of pieces like this one, singularly focused as he soldered metal antlers and such for each of them. He was polite. He'd say hello and ask how we were, but it was only when I snuck a look into his workroom later (when he thought he was alone) that I'd see his eyes light up with passion as he whittled and carved -- not unlike how mine do when I'm at my desk, surrounded by my 'things', deep into the creation of a story.


Adrienne said...

So you come by it honestly then! That is a beautiful piece of art by the way, I am most impressed!

wordman17 said...

My dad whittles stuff all
the time but nothing any good.
He's not Norwegian though.
He's Irish and French with the belief that he should've been a sculptor (??!!) Grand, huh? Him a frustrated sculptor and me a frustrated wannabe novelist.

Larramie said...

What a heartfelt link to the past and, also, how inspiring!

ORION said...

I love that carving! You are right - it is like writing and it's beautiful!

kyla-dale said...

It's a pretty detailed carving, but I gotta say the man's nuts! I'd never have that kind of patience, and yet... when it
comes to writing I'm so there.

I guess you're right!
Passion is passion.

Dawn said...

It's all about creating and it's all about passion.

Anonymous said...

I still have a few of these carvings, too. The one I treasure the most is the one of a figure skater, Karen Magnusson. I don't remember him much, but the one vision I have is him sitting on his bed, with his pipe. I can almost smell it.
Cindy W.

debra said...

It's a lovely piece. We found one that my father-in-law carved out of a chunck of walnut when he was 11 (he's now 86). These are priceless connections.

Lindsay Sasseville said...


I am glad that we all got some of great grandpa's carvings. they are so wonderful and show the creativity that seems to run through all of us. My mom (laura) has some birds and i think an elk similar to that one. thanks for posting a picture of it. its beautiful.