New Cedar Wand

It has been a while since I have taken up my carving knife to create a new wand. I find that carving is rarely something which I can do without the right attitude. Still, when the spirit of inspiration strikes I must be ready. I started this wand more than a month ago and bit by bit I completed it.

I used a new finish this time around. Normally I use walnut oil, but I wanted to try linseed oil for a change. I really enjoy the smell and texture which linseed oil has on wood. I’m not quite sure which I prefer so I may simply mix and match the two from now on. We’ll see.

I created a page for this wand talking about its special attributes: Cedar Wand with Aragonite.

To purchase this wand, visit my etsy store.

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Collaborating With Artistic Mediums

Since I started carving wands a few weeks ago, I have noticed a significant difference in the creative process than that of making a painting. Allow me to elaborate. I have often heard artists say that their piece ‘wanted’ to become something other than what they had visualized themselves creating. It is an odd thing that I often hear at parties and art functions, but not something I had given much thought to. Now, as a painter myself, I had summed this up to mean a happy mistake where a piece of art fails to become the image held in the mind of the painter, but rather becomes something different entirely. As I have no great skill at painting details or photo-realistic works (the way images are first formed in my head), the results of my work are often wildly different from my initial plans. This is not a bad thing, instead it has taught me the value of releasing my expectations and allowing my art to form as it should.

Now how is creating a wand different? I do not have much of a notion in my head when I first start making a wand as to its final look. I start by removing the bark and from there I see how the potential wand fits inside the branch. In this way I can decide whether to rasp away the knots or to let the wand keep its wild appearance. How long the wand will be or what shape it will take are not really choices that I make consciously. It is in this manner that the wand itself plays a part in the creative process. The process is as much reading how the wood wants to be shaped as it is design. The creative inspiration and the physical acts of shaping the wood are, at least for me, one and the same motion.

It is strange that this should happen with one medium and not the other. Perhaps I am simple more suited to one, or perhaps each process holds its own rewards. In either case, I can now nod my head sagely at the types of parties where artists are to be found in abundance and say, “Yes. I understand completely.”

My work space for creating magick wands.

Wands – Migrated 06/19/2014

When I was a young kid, I loved making wands. Some were little more than sticks with a handle of wrapped wool, others held gemstones reservoirs and special carvings. I made them because I felt that I had to. Here were these beautiful fallen branches with wands hiding inside and no one else was going to bring them out. I feel that every sculpture or amateur whittler knows this feeling. Indeed, the same is true of any artist with their own medium.
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Like many other things I enjoyed in my childhood, crafting wands was something I dropped. I suppose I thought it childish. Maybe it was, but much of my art is indeed childlike. The difference is a significant one though. The adult me wants to reject anything that doesn’t seem “grown up.” Doing childish thing is to act like one is a child. Being childlike is to act without constraint, to ignore the rational thoughts of the adult mind and simply have fun. With that thought in mind, I have once again taken up wand making. Being a ‘grown up’ simply means that I can create better and more intricate designs.
Over the winter, I collected a large amount of sticks which now sit in the corner of my room. A quick trip to Lee Valley and I had all the tools I needed. The image above is my first wand in years being carved. I intend to make many more. These pieces are very personal to me and I put a lot of time and care into making them. All my wands are unique, each one wants to be shaped differently than does it’s brothers and sisters. Creating a wand is more than simple wood carving, It is breathing life into a beautiful and precious tool.