Spalted Heart(wood)

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Project by rdlaurance posted 02-07-2013 03:29 PM 1844 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Seems Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so having a few extra hours to squeeze in a little project, I grabbed my carving knife, a chunk of elm and a comfortable stool. My efforts in comfort being tantamount to the success of this project as I’m sitting out in my drafty barn with the thermometer reading a cool 26 degrees Fahrenheit (-3C) and figure I’ll be here for a while.

So my dear one will receive another Valentine heart to accompany the previous one I carved her two years ago, at this time. While carving this one, I decided that I’ll begin to make this an annual gift with another sculptural gift somewhere down the line that will incorporate all these future hearts. So here begins a small tradition.

The heart measures 10cm long x 8.5cm wide x 4cm thick, and is from a large elm stump that I’ve kept outside the barn for the past five years, spalting. Last October, I felt it was probably ‘seasoned’ as much as I wanted so grabbed the chainsaw and bucked it up into more handleable pieces. Approximately 1/3 of the stump had too much decay so will be a positive addition to a new h├╝gelkultur bed I’m planning on laying in when the weather warms up. The remaining parts of the stump have achieved a very nice patina of spalting throughout, as the colors in this little carving reveals.

Hope y’all like it and… you got about a week remaining to finish up something, for that special one in your life!

-- Rick, south Sweden

8 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30577 posts in 3258 days

#1 posted 02-07-2013 04:30 PM

Really nice looking work

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1128 posts in 4351 days

#2 posted 02-07-2013 06:32 PM

Love the look, and from what I can tell, the 2 into 1 from the back, kinda like spooning. She’s going to love it.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View learnin2do's profile


891 posts in 3771 days

#3 posted 02-08-2013 05:03 AM

You need to make up for last year!

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3095 days

#4 posted 02-08-2013 04:05 PM

Fantastic heart carvings! Wood is great as well as the intention. Way to go!

View Vince's profile


1278 posts in 4349 days

#5 posted 02-09-2013 05:08 PM

very nice work

-- Vince

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 3417 days

#6 posted 02-12-2013 05:05 AM

This form, these lines but with no colour variations, entwined they still have their say.
Only this material in less skillful hands, interesting but without much life.
Both? An object to fondle and inwardly smile. You did it.
Love your background but you really need to observe your F stops. Must have been the cold.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View rdlaurance's profile


380 posts in 4266 days

#7 posted 02-12-2013 06:29 AM

Thanks all, for the appreciative remarks!

Gene—ha ha, you are so keenly astute in your observations. I so much enjoy the tactile quality of gentle wooden forms of this size… in holding and rubbing the smooth curvilinear surfaces, they have the therapeutic ability to calm the soul as in the way of traditional Greek ‘worry beads’. And the F’stops… I’m still learning my new DSLR. My earlier Canon SLR, of which I’ve taken pics of my artworks for decades, bit the big one about 6 years ago and since then I’d been using a cheap Canon PHD (“Push Here Dummy”), which too had just recently met its demise.

Needless to say, the combination of being a little ‘out of touch’ with prior skills, the unfamiliarity of these newer digital SLR’s with a gad zillion manual settings and not having any of my previous studio lighting equipment, still has me a bit stymied. Of particular enjoyment is not having to buy and waste the tons of rolls of film in getting my shots back up to snuff. Easy to understand why KODAK finally had to file for Chapter 11. The background was a linen/cotton dinner place setting… convenient but also of a contrasting, even texture and of a close color harmony. Thanks for your input!

-- Rick, south Sweden

View JimArnoldChess's profile


210 posts in 3914 days

#8 posted 01-04-2014 12:19 PM

beautiful piece, Rick. I really enjoy your sculpture work. Bet it looks good in your house too!
talk to you soon.



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