Over thirty years ago, far away in Johannesburg, I watched my sister in law carve a headboard for their home out of wood. She had been to a workshop and was hooked, admitting that it was addictive as she found herself staying up into the wee hours carving after her family had long gone to bed. This memory took root and became a dream.

Over the years I spotted classes and courses, and when life gifted a gap, I signed up only to have them cancelled because not enough people were interested. Various creatives have offered to teach me in exchange for paintings and other creativity and for a multitude of reasons, their promises disappeared on the wind.

A few years ago I met a lovely lady called Marie, who weaves basketry in a shared studio not far from here, called The Wellington Road Art Studios and we stayed in touch. I had an email from Marie recently and she invited me to join them for a workshop with her talented woodcarver friend Jo. I didn’t hesitate and on Saturday we all had a magic day.

Jo is a gifted carver and a natural teacher. The peace of the studios gave us a foundation to create and Jo’s gentle encouragement and knowledge soon had us absorbed. Nothing is a mistake to Jo and wood can be carved around anything to restore balance. ‘I’ve lost my stem’ I called out, as my chisel removed an important piece of the ivy I was practising on. ‘Nothing is a mistake, Jane’ Jo soothed as she showed me how to carve down and raise it up again. When you are carving all else falls away, even the constant mind chatter. Feeling neglected at one point my mind chirped up with something I had forgotten to do that day and I found myself saying ‘Shhhhhh, later’ as I went back to carving the undulations on my dragon’s wings.

A heartfelt thanks to Jo for her loving care, Marie for sharing her space, the kindred spirits I created with and the moments that birthed a long-awaited dream. It was a gift to do something for the sheer joy of it and I loved every second. ❤

66 thoughts on “Dreams…

  1. ‘Nothing is a mistake’ > a simple but powerful truth, Jane dear. And ‘mind chatter’ > I’m glad I’m not the only one afflicted with this fellow. Years ago when he first appeared, I thought I was going down the crazy alley.

    I know how you feel re the woodcarving. When I’m writing, I feel free… truly free

    Here’s wishing for you to soar high and let the wind carry you 🙂
    – Eric

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, yes, YES. I feel this same way while writing (and I see a comment above that says she feels the same way when she paints) Creativity in all forms gives us self-expression and joy. What a fabulous photo of you – you GLOW in the joy of your creativity.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I share your love of dragons and wish that i could send you the one on my garage wall. The one that you carved is a cutie. Your post reminds me how therapeutic it is to loose oneself in a creative project. By the way base relief carving is challenging isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that you have a dragon on your garage wall, Jane. ❤ Base relief carving is hard work, yes, and that surprised me. I didn't want to make it all smooth though, as I'm drawn to the irregularity of it all. ❤


  4. You fed and nurtured your inner child and married what you already hold within, with all the care and space outside of you in that special place. I attended a writing workshop in a beautifully remote setting on Saturday and had a similarly wonderful & creative experience. Here’s to more of this!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jane,

    Anytime you are working with your hands, you are feeding the mind, body and soul. That is a precious dragon. Does it have a name? I have never tried wood carving, but
    thanks to your article, now know that I will be on the lookout for a workshop. You
    always lift us up with your joys. Thank you!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh Sarah, I am sitting here looking at him and no, I haven’t given him a name yet…it will come. I so love Wales and visit as often as I can, so a dragon felt natural to me. They are real to me, like fairies, just saying…. 🙂 Much ❤ flowing to you too and here's to our creativity. Yay ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A grand name for a really grand dragon!

        I have a dragon here in the U.S.named Little Nag…
        and Little Nag has a twin named Eragon who lives in Trinidad. We adopted them from a poet who lived in Thailand (Willowdown,) who has since passed away. Our dragons are made of brass but they will both be overjoyed to know they have a cousin made of wood in the UK. : )

        Liked by 1 person

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