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 Responses to “Dreams…”

  1. 1 Eric Alagan August 14, 2019 at 7:08 am

    ‘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 πŸ™‚
    – Eric

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 3 Laureen August 13, 2019 at 8:07 am

    As I was little we used to carve our candles – a very delightful hobby:)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 5 roughwighting July 30, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    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

  4. 7 paintdigi July 28, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    Hello jane πŸ™‚
    Good posts and beautiful blog, ………….Congratulations
    I invite you to see my creations on: paintdigi.com

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 10 Sue Dreamwalker July 28, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    That is just wonderful Jane, and so loved he said nothing is ever a mistake, and showed you how to rectify it.. Wonderful photo and love the dragon.. Dreams DO come true ❀ πŸ™‚
    Much love Jane..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 13 grandfathersky July 26, 2019 at 1:59 am

    Interesting you chose a Dragon … how deep the meaning, what joy for those hands to render the dream into life … Hugs to you !

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 15 Clare Pooley July 24, 2019 at 11:09 pm

    I am so pleased that you have been able to fulfill your dream at last! You have carved such a sweet little dragon! You are a natural, my dear!
    Hugs and ❀ xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 18 dgkaye July 24, 2019 at 12:08 am

    Oh Jane that’s wonderful! You fished your wish and created dragon wings. They should play nicely with the unicorn. ❀ Hugs flowing to you xoxox πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 23 morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer July 23, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    Hmmm; do you think your dragon would be interested in meeting my Unicorn?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. 25 ianscyberspace July 22, 2019 at 11:38 pm

    You are a woman of many talents. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  11. 27 John W. Howell July 22, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    Lovely work and thanks to Jo. Thanks to you for sharing such a nice post.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 30 Yeah, Another Blogger July 22, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    Hello Jane. Your smile says it all.

    Neil Scheinin

    Liked by 1 person

  13. 32 Jane Stansfeld July 22, 2019 at 5:24 pm

    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

    • 33 Jane Sturgeon July 23, 2019 at 8:02 am

      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. ❀


  14. 34 Al July 22, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    You are a natural, Jane! Nicely done. Now I’m going to go the whole day with the tune “Puff the Magic Dragon” swirling around in my head.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. 36 Create Space July 22, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    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

  16. 40 smzang July 22, 2019 at 2:03 pm


    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

  17. 48 Nancy July 22, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    Oh it was so nice to see you this morning …beautiful friend! And your carving is fabulous! I sure hope you can do it again very soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. 50 coachkanikafindingabetteryou July 22, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    I am in love with the word DREAMS…i live my dreams

    Liked by 1 person

  19. 53 kathyreeves July 22, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    How exciting to finally be able to try this, and with such an excellent mentor, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. 55 1smiles July 22, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    The joy is on your face dear Jane! Much love and many hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. 57 Jill Weatherholt July 22, 2019 at 11:41 am

    Looks great, Jane…nicely done! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  22. 59 Tracey bowden July 22, 2019 at 11:20 am

    How lovely you got to do something you had been waiting do long for

    Liked by 1 person

  23. 61 pensitivity101 July 22, 2019 at 11:10 am

    How lovely! Are you going to stain it?

    Liked by 1 person

  24. 65 Leny owram July 22, 2019 at 11:06 am

    Lovely Jane..that’s how I feel when I paint..every worry drops away and there you are…just in the moment. X

    Liked by 1 person

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