I submitted two carvings to the Eco Squared show at Hatch Art House on Willy Street here in Madison. The art is to contain upcycled or recycled elements. I took some of the wood I received at the Urban Forest Fest. This is a slab of wood cut from an Ash tree that was knocked down by a tornado. Ash us a very strong and fibrous wood, not typically used in carving. I discovered that it can be carved while it is still green. In hardwoods, it counts as green for the first year or so.
The two pieces I submitted are an ash branch showing fall colors and the second is of the emerald ash borer. The irony of the insect is that it is quite a lovely intruder as bugs go.
Showing at Hatch Art House starting January 9. Opening reception January 9 from 6-9pm.
It started with a summer storm. Severe winds tore through the East side of Madison and downed a number of trees. Three of these were saved and taken to the Urban Wood Fest to show how fallen wood can be saved and used. That is where I acquired a slab of ash. This tree came from Hudson Park which features a burial mound. As I walked around the park, I saw other trees, and the mound crowded with prairie plants, carefully not mown down by the city parks workers.
An ancient tribe came here and built these mounds, we are not sure what for exactly. Another park nearby has a bear and a lynx mound. The one at Hudson is not easily identifiable. Just as these visitors found something to commemorate, I remember a previous visit along the shore. We were canoeing between the Yahara and Olbrich park when we saw a blue heron along the shoreline.
I was able to find photographs of the blue heron and so developed this design. I chose to represent the heron in shallow relief, and to develop the color and life of the bird with several layers of thinned acrylic paint. This is the result. I think it is a fitting use for the ash wood that was blown into my way.