Sunday, 3 July 2011

Wood Carvers

The wood carvers were back again in Chasseneuil-sur-Bonnieure this year.  Either I missed them last year, or they had a year's break.  I have not seen any new carvings around the town, so I suspect that they took a year off.   For  photos from previous years, take a look under 'labels' and 'wood carving'.

As I said in earlier blogs, the team of wood carvers come from Canada.  They are amazing to watch and they work with chain saws, hammers and chisels and finally they sand everything smooth by hand.  The end products are eventually treated with sealer and placed in and around the town for all to see.  I made four visits down to the town this year, so I could take photos as work on the various sculptures progressed. Note all photos can be enlarged with a single click.
There were in fact 5 logs in this group; two were out of shot over on the right. The wood is cedar and the smell while they are working is very strong.  You can see they had just begun when I took this photo.
This are the same three logs as above and you can see how much work had been done on them by the middle of the week. The fourth log was modern art, and at this stage I had still not decided if it was my style or not!
This face was very distinctive already.

Without the sketch, I think I would still have been wondering

This one I thought may be an angel but you will soon see how wrong I was!
The eagle is starting to take shape on the third visit

and the 'angel' was now very definitely an owl with another face appearing below

I was still not sure about the modern art, but thought it was time you took a look! I have also realised that somehow I missed photos of the fifth log until the end!

The face was improving by the minute.
 
My last visit and they were still working on the finishing touches. Note the moustache is in fact a fish.  There were two of them, one on each side.
The owl from the front
and from the back, suddenly  a turtle appeared.
The eagle, if you look carefully, has a fish in its talons

The carving I had previously missed, has a horses head above a mushroom, with a snail climbing up the right hand side. On the top of the mushroom is a ladybird.
The final touches to the modern art
and a final summation of the week's work.

99 comments:

  1. Fascinating! How fortunate you are to be able to see the works in progress. Do the artists/carvers receive remuneration from the town? It mus tbe a good tourist draw. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

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  2. Mary all the information I can find is in French so I am limited to what I can discover. I am though quite sure they get remuneration from the town. As I say they return yearly other than I am not sure about 2010. It certainly is an attraction to locals and visitors as the carvers are there daily for a week. Take care Diane

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  3. It's nice to see such craftsmanship in action, and I admire their use of the chain saws! It is a machine I would fear to use - mind you, Diane, I doubt I would even be able to pick one up let alone use it!

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  4. They are quite remarkable aren't they? I'm always impressed with people who have such raw talent.
    You should have had a word with the Diane and commissioned them to make a totem pole for your lovely garden there. Now THAT would get the neighbours talking!

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  5. Vera if you don't know what you are doing they can be vicious. I have good neighbours who help me out! The craftsmanship on the carvings is remarkable. Did you note that the modern art carving was a women working on it. Diane

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  6. Craig strange you should say that, I already said to Nigel when we take down the dead cedar tree, maybe we should get them to carve the trunk into a large bear at the bottom of the garden!! Trouble is if you have to ask how much, you know you cannot afford it!! I wish I had the talent to do it but that is way beyond me. Sigh..... Diane

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  7. What beautiful work, and so very difficult to achieve. It looks easy to those who have not tried carving. But, it is not. Great artisans, indeed.

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  8. Rosaria how right you are, they make it look very easy. What I would find so difficult is that you cannot make a mistake. No rubbing out or painting over!! Diane

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  9. I love watching a work in progress and see how it develops. So good of you to show us. Each year on Siesta Beach they have sand sculptors and it is the same amazement of what they can do with sand, very fascinating.

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  10. Lyndsey when we lived in Mafikeng there was a guy at the Hotel School who was an artist working in chocolate, the results were amazing. Sadly I have no photos, I was not blogging then!! I am also fascinated by ice sculptures. Diane

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  11. Wow these are amazing,, My brother in law is a wood craftsman .. he does absolutely all sorts .. I will have to see if I can get some photos of his work. xx

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  12. How did they do that so quickly??? Amazing work on such large pieces of wood. I love the giant birds.

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  13. I love wood carvings. Recently on a visit to my mom we passed through the town of Hope. They had many wood carvings scattered around the town but I didn't take any photos!

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  14. Wow amazing - yes one of those would be a talking point in your garden - but as you say if you have to ask the price perhaps it is out of the question!

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  15. Amazing wood sculptures - such detailing - I imagine the smell of the beautiful cedar would have added to the atmosphere of the occasion!
    Thanks for the pics. xx

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  16. Their jobs look amazing, respect their beautiful jobs.

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  17. How very cool to follow this process. And such major changes. I am amazed that people can carve with a chainsaw.

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  18. Anne perhaps your brother in law can come and carve my bear at the bottom of the garden Haha. It would be good to see some pictures of his work. Hope you are feeling better. Diane

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  19. Wow,what incredible talent! I cannot imagine myself working away with a chainsaw like that!

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  20. lostpastremembered A week is no time at all for the resuts that they produce, it amazes me. Diane

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  21. Joyful I wonder if the wood carvings are done by the same people as come here, pity you did not take photos, perhaps if you go that way again..... Diane

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  22. Cate I am sure they would be very expensive, but it would look good in the garden :-) Diane

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  23. Dianne the smell certainly adds to the occasion you are right and it is quite strong. I enjoyed following the work, they are very clever with their detail. Diane

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  24. Sonia thanks for your commnet, wish I could do something like that..... Diane

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  25. Gaelyn I was stunned the first year I saw them working with a chain saw, they are totally fascinating to watch what they produce with it. Diane

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  26. Liesl, their talent is something else and working with those chain saws...... I can only imagine how much damage I could do!!! Diane

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  27. These guys are brilliant Diane, I can just about manage to cut a large branch off with my chain saw.

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  28. Well you have completely gob-smacked me here Diane. I dropped in to read about France, a country I adore like yourself. Instead I can smell the cedar of where I grew up in western Canada, where these sorts of carvings are everywhere. The west coast of British Columbia is where the famous totem poles are still carved today by the people of the First Nations. I am so pleased that you like the carvings so much, and I like the idea of a bear :) in your lovely garden!

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  29. Steve I am still amazed after watching what they can do with a chain saw..... not an easy implement to carve shapes with! Diane

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  30. Sorry Dolly but I have been watching these carvers ever since we moved to France so to me they are part of the countryside here :) Just goes to show what a small world we live in! Yea I also fancy the idea of that bear :-))) Diane

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  31. Wow, that's amazing art work, very fascinating!

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  32. wow, some of them are very elaborated!

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  33. Hi Diane, we will be shopping in Chasseneuil again within the next few weeks - can't wait to be back and looking forward to seeing the carvings (if they are still there!!). We saw these a few years ago on the banks of the Loire - the smell was intoxicating as they were being carved, amazing memories, thank you x

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  34. Wow! It is really amazing what some people can do with a piece of wood!

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  35. Diane, you're so lucky to have witnessed the whole progress of the making. The artworks are absolutely stunning. Yes Lyndsey is also very lucky. The yearly sand scruptors show normally located at her nearby beaches. :o) Thank you for sharing the pictures. They're amazing.
    Have a great week ahead, dear.
    Kristy

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  36. Isn't it amazing what these people can do with a chain saw? Sometimes, they have contest with blocks of ice here..I am always in awe..I can't even make a radish rose with a knife..always lose a piece of the radish..haha..
    Have a happy week..xoRosebud/Carolyn

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  37. These carvings are amazing, thanks for sharing with us Diane.

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  38. fabulous reportage
    http://whatisbelgium.blogspot.com

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  39. Maria you are right, the art work is amazing. Diane

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  40. Ola they are elaborate it is amazing what can be done with a chain saw!! Diane

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  41. great collection of wood crafts

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  42. Jacky I suspect that they will have been taken away now for preservation treatment, but there are many carvings around Chasseneuil if you know where to look. There are many around the road by the swimming pool and there are quite a lot in the gardens behind the museum area. Bedsides others dotted around. Diane

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  43. Crazy Tourists, yes log of wood one weekend and fancy carving the next :-) Diane

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  44. Thanks Kristy you have a good week as well. This is the second time I have watched properly but last time I was not blogging!! Diane

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  45. Rosebud I am in awe of what these people produce with a chainsaw, amazing. Diane

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  46. Thanks Linda, it is a pleasure to share. It is not often one gets to see things like this right before your eyes. Diane

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  47. RW, thanks so much for your visit and your comment. You have a great blog. Diane

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  48. Those wood carvings are amazing! Love your blog also and I'm looking forward to visiting often. By the way, I'm from Belgium so we're almost neighbours :-)
    ~Avalon

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  49. Wow, I've never seen anything like that before. It's like wooden ice sculpture. Absolutely beautiful. Thanks so much for posting the photos Diane, it was great to be able to see the transition as more work was put in. Hope you are well. x

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  50. Avalon, thanks so much for the visit, yep almost neighbours :-) I have to agree the carvings are pretty amazing. See you soon. Take care Diane

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  51. Hi Froggy, It was fantastic watching the carvers work and the transformation taking place. Yes all well here. Have a great birthday party with Dolly, wish I was there:-( Have a good week and take care. Diane xx

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  52. Brilliant carvings! I think when you are back in the UK in Winter - then is the time for the sewing of the Dolly Dimple empire. xxxx

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  53. Amazing post Diane! What a show this is! It must be an exciting thing to watch artists carving with lots of creative imagination and get to see the finished work of art. This reminds me of the beautiful ice sculptures also done in Canada. Thanks for sharing this!

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  54. Hai Dear

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    Aarthi

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  55. Diane I have sent you an email so think I have caught up with everything there :-) the other Diane xx

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  56. Kenny Mah, you are right they are interesting and I think very clever. Diane

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  57. michelangelo I am sure as an artist yourself that you really appreciate the work that must go into these wood carvings. I have only ever seen the ice carvings on TV but I can imagine what it must be like to watch them in real life. Diane

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  58. Aarthi thanks for your visit, hope to see you back in the future. Take care Diane

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  59. Quel beau reportage.Je remarque que beaucoup de ces sculpteurs s'inspire de la nature.J'aime beaucoup les "moustaches- poissons".
    Merci de ce très joli compte rendu.

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  60. Lucie, J'aime aussi beaucoup les "moustaches- poissons" Haha. Diane

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  61. Incredible - especially the eagle -i would have loved to have been there!
    Mary

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  62. Mary (Mum's kitchen) They were all equally good in their own way, it was fascinating watching them appear from plain logs of wood. Diane

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  63. C'est très beau.
    J'aime beaucoup.
    A très bientôt.

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  64. It must be incredibly fascinating to observe this process. Personally, I love to do so. Especially, I like wood carving and pottery.

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  65. Olga I was totally fascinated watching them work. I was amazed at the detail they could produce with the chain saw before moving to other tools. Diane

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  66. What a great display of talent! It was fun to see your pictures of the progress on the wood carvings.

    There was a tree cutter here who used to carve a mushroom from each stump he left with a chain saw. It was very a impressive display.

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  67. What talent those wood sculptors have! I love all of them =)

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  68. How gorgeous, i would love to see this in action.

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  69. How lovely that they are back. Their work is amazing, based on the photographs you've snapped.

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  70. Another great post! :-) Love the pictures.

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  71. Very interesting work!!!!
    Became wonderfully with your beautiful photos!!!!
    Amities

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  72. Marjie the talent is amazing with these people. Please send your tree cutter over her to take down our cedar, if I can't have a bear a mushroom would look good :-) Diane

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  73. Peggy the end result was really excellent, the only one I was not mad about was the modern art, but it was beautifully finished and the skill was still brilliant. Just my taste! Diane

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  74. Muppy it was worth the time to visit several times, not only to see the progress, but to watch them working. Diane

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  75. Indie.Tea I think the pictures say it all, their work is amazing. Diane

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  76. Christine's Pantry, thanks for the kind comment. Take care Diane.

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  77. Magda thanks for visiting again and your very kind comments. Have a good day. Diane

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  78. Thanks for showing us these great carvings!
    What a lovely occupation, the results are stunning!
    Did you get one?!!!
    Diane, I have a question, if I may:
    Once you've added "Linkwithin" in your message window, do you have to choose yourself what articles are best in relation to the one you just published or does Linkwithin select them itself?
    I am still battling within this silly problem! LOL!
    No hurry, you answer when you have a moment!
    Cheers and have goo day!!
    XXXXX

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  79. Noushka I would love one, but the answer would be to carve the trunk when we take down our dead cedar. Don't think I can afford it though!! Have sent you an email. Take care Diane xx

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  80. Diane, I've amended the recipe to include instructions for making a crab boil mix. Sorry for the oversight. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  81. wow!
    that is amazing!
    happy night,
    Rosa

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  82. I have seen carvings like these in Alaska. It is nice that these carvers go to France so everyone can enjoy their art. I would like to own one of these carvings but after years in the same house it is so full that I would not know where to place it.

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  83. bikim, you are right it is amazing :-) Have a good day. Diane

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  84. Vagabonde, they are really stunning or I think so, We have the perfect place for one in the garden, but as I said previously if you have to ask the price you cannot afford it :-( Diane

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  85. I am dumbstruck! This post is awesome and the wood carvings look so beautiful. Lovely blog and great pictures!! Do visit my blog if you love Indian food. Would love to visit here again!
    http://cosmopolitancurrymania.blogspot.com

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  86. Purabi Naha thanks so much for your visit and your kind comments. I love your blog especially as we both love Indian food. Diane

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  87. What amazing details! I have never seen such intricate carvings! In fact, I've never really heard of this sort of bulk carving. Merci Dianne.
    Ps. I've been in Hong Kong and my URL changed; perhaps that's why I'm listed as under construction? It is causing me a lot of trobule though!

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  88. Brittany it is good to have you back. I will have to keep an eye open to follow your blog as the under construction thing does not go away!!
    The carvings are really very special and for me it was a privilege to watch. Diane

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  89. the carvings are really beautiful and i think it;s just fascinating if one is able to come back everyday and just watch the carvers do their work and see the changes in the sculptures. HOw long do these sculptures stay in town, are they going to be moved away to another city?

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  90. Lena we have carvings all over the town from previous years. They send them off for the wood to be treated then they come back and end up being placed in different places around the town. There are many of the here now. Diane

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  91. wow, what a creative works. They are very talented.

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  92. Thanks Kay for your visit and your comment. Yes they are very creative. It was amazing to watch. Diane

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  93. Those wood carvings are beautiful!

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  94. chubskulit I can only agree, that they are. Diane

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  95. Amazing how an artist creates these beautiful statues, from head to hands, a beautiful work of art.

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