Bringing In The New Year

My latest “iron in the fire” aside from landscape design is the book I just published a month ago. What it is not is a book on garden design or plants or sustainability or anything like that – it’s a book on character carving! That’s right, but I’m not talking about the sitt’n on the front porch rocker whittlin a stick like a scene from Deliverance carving. I’ve done some wood carving but that includes the occasional blood letting that occurs when the pressure you exert with the blade in one hand exceeds the resistance of the wood you’re holding in the other – ouch! No, I’m talking about sweet potato carving, you know, the ones you buy at the grocery store. They’re easy to carve without the bleeding. I got hooked on this about 14 years ago when we visited Amish Country on vacation. At that time no one had taken this to a higher level than soap carving but what’s remarkable about carving them is the way they contort, wizen and twist when dried out. They always develop surprising characteristics that look weirdly human. Since then I carve every year around the Holiday Season which is a great time to be doing this kind of stuff because they’re cheap and the selection is great!

Through the years I discovered new techniques for carving, drying, detailing and painting these tater-heads that dramatically improve the results. So, I thought I’d write a book about it. And, that’s what I did: Twisted Taters – Straight Talk For The Sweet Potato Carver. It’s just out and can be purchased on LuLu, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobles. The following pics are some of the characters in the book. I hope you like them.



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