When I was a young kid, I loved making wands. Some were little more than sticks with a handle of wrapped wool, others held gemstones reservoirs and special carvings. I made them because I felt that I had to. Here were these beautiful fallen branches with wands hiding inside and no one else was going to bring them out. I feel that every sculpture or amateur whittler knows this feeling. Indeed, the same is true of any artist with their own medium.
Like many other things I enjoyed in my childhood, crafting wands was something I dropped. I suppose I thought it childish. Maybe it was, but much of my art is indeed childlike. The difference is a significant one though. The adult me wants to reject anything that doesn’t seem “grown up.” Doing childish thing is to act like one is a child. Being childlike is to act without constraint, to ignore the rational thoughts of the adult mind and simply have fun. With that thought in mind, I have once again taken up wand making. Being a ‘grown up’ simply means that I can create better and more intricate designs.
Over the winter, I collected a large amount of sticks which now sit in the corner of my room. A quick trip to Lee Valley and I had all the tools I needed. The image above is my first wand in years being carved. I intend to make many more. These pieces are very personal to me and I put a lot of time and care into making them. All my wands are unique, each one wants to be shaped differently than does it’s brothers and sisters. Creating a wand is more than simple wood carving, It is breathing life into a beautiful and precious tool.