There’s nothing nicer than customers having interesting ideas for their tree carvings ~ the quirkier the better ~ and this one certainly fell into the “unusual” category: a Green Man (a good start), with a squirrel, a….fish…..and…..a lizard(?!). I must admit, the fish and the lizard threw me slightly, and I tried to persuade the customers that some more suitable woodland creatures would be more befitting; credit to them though, they stuck to their guns ~ the chosen wildlife had a strong personal meaning to the family, which I always like…I just had to try and link them together in a carving! I think the final result shows they were right to insist, as the sculpture works well with plenty of interest and character.
As usual with a Green Man, the nose is first to appear, and lots of wood is chopped away over the face area; then the features ~ mouth, eyes, cheeks ~ make their appearance, leaving plenty of wood to carve in the leaves where required.
The next area took some thought ~ I’d planned to have the squirrel climbing down the tree, utilising a couple of large lumps and bumps in the wood, but after roughing out the squirrel’s head a large patch of dark brown pithy rot appeared ~ right in the middle of his forehead, and obviously not ideal. After a rethink I positioned the squirrel as though he was peeping out of a hole, with his tail curling out of another hole just above; this turned out to be a happy accident, as it gave the entire sculpture a bit of a story, with some humour and interest thrown in.