If someone were to ask me where my creativity comes from, I would have to say it's from my mother. Before MS made it too difficult for her, she dabbled in several crafty areas. She's been into crocheting, knitting, drawing, sewing, even wood burning for a quick second. But where did my mother get her creative streak? My grandfather, mostly. Let's meet my Grandpa 'Let, shall we?
Growing up, we could never say my grandparents' last name, so it was always Grandma and Grandpa 'Let. =) My Grandpa is 91 years young, emphasis on the "young". Oh, he thinks he's as old as Methuselah, but he's doing very well for his age. He still lives alone, still can drive, and is quite active. He's an avid birdwatcher. And he's an amazing wood carver.
I grew up with this in my house. It's one of his early pieces. He modeled it somewhat after my grandmother.
He started this donkey early in his carving career, but it was on the shelf unfinished until recently. He's finally finished it and I think he said it took him about 50 years to get it finished.
One of his favorite subjects would be birds. Most of his bird carvings are so detailed and so realistic that you would expect it to fly away if you got too close.
He is very humble. He calls himself a "whittler," not an artist.
My brother-in-law wants a tattoo of this.
This is not a real glove. It's a piece of wood, people. Amazing. It had a falcon on it, but one of his cats knocked it off the shelf.
The head of my grandpa's cane. He has carved a few canes for himself. He also makes back scratchers.
Grandpa said that someone asked him how he got so good at carving. He said that he tries to challenge himself every time he starts a new piece. I totally "get" that. When I'm looking for a new project, I don't want to just make something for the sake of making something. I want it to be a little difficult, I want to learn something new. I certainly could have found a simple afghan pattern to whip up quickly for my latest project (I'll share it in the next post), but I know I'll be more proud of it if it's a challenge and I want to be proud of what I give to my mother.
If you'd like to see more of my grandpa's work, go HERE. I'm getting ready to start making photobooks for my family of his carvings. I need to get copies to him to identify the different types of birds, maybe tell a story about a few of them, just to make it that much more special. It's going to be everyone's Christmas present this year. =)