Collaborating With Artistic Mediums

Since I started carving wands a few weeks ago, I have noticed a significant difference in the creative process than that of making a painting. Allow me to elaborate. I have often heard artists say that their piece ‘wanted’ to become something other than what they had visualized themselves creating. It is an odd thing that I often hear at parties and art functions, but not something I had given much thought to. Now, as a painter myself, I had summed this up to mean a happy mistake where a piece of art fails to become the image held in the mind of the painter, but rather becomes something different entirely. As I have no great skill at painting details or photo-realistic works (the way images are first formed in my head), the results of my work are often wildly different from my initial plans. This is not a bad thing, instead it has taught me the value of releasing my expectations and allowing my art to form as it should.

Now how is creating a wand different? I do not have much of a notion in my head when I first start making a wand as to its final look. I start by removing the bark and from there I see how the potential wand fits inside the branch. In this way I can decide whether to rasp away the knots or to let the wand keep its wild appearance. How long the wand will be or what shape it will take are not really choices that I make consciously. It is in this manner that the wand itself plays a part in the creative process. The process is as much reading how the wood wants to be shaped as it is design. The creative inspiration and the physical acts of shaping the wood are, at least for me, one and the same motion.

It is strange that this should happen with one medium and not the other. Perhaps I am simple more suited to one, or perhaps each process holds its own rewards. In either case, I can now nod my head sagely at the types of parties where artists are to be found in abundance and say, “Yes. I understand completely.”

My work space for creating magick wands.