[Adan] Last week's Wednesday Whatzit was maybe not completely fair, or in line with typical quiz subjects. Regardless, here's what it was:
My grandfather (father's father) carved this from a single piece of cherry. He and my grandmother were both very serious woodcarvers. They really liked carving animals, and especially birds, and thankfully many of those figurines were saved and passed on to my father when his parents died. They were also legendary for carving in the living room, in front of the TV, and leaving gorgeous piles of shavings and sawdust on the floor. How cool is that?!
This, clearly, is neither bird nor beast: it's a chain, with a little ball carved into one end of it. I've seen other examples of people carving captive inclusions such as the ball, or carving chain links, but what I like most about this is the story it tells. It's very poignant, the way in which the project has been planned out, the governing pencil lines drawn... and then he worked in from the ends: maybe he started with the ball first, and actually put a dab of finish on it, just to see what it was going to look like:
Going to the chain end, the links seem to start out a little uneven and get more and more symmetric. Again, he's touched a couple of them with finish.
But to have made so much progress, and not complete it? Was it really that he was interrupted by the end of his days, or did he instead come to appreciate it in its current state as a much more interesting story than the finished product might be, and deliberately stop?
Maybe he got tired of the monotony of chain links and went back to carving the darling little bear cubs that are collected in his descendants' homes. Who can say? I think it's a lovely artifact.