The mayflies are joining the alderflies around the block, and the first damselflies and dragonflies are in the air. A good session for new and returning carvers, although we are all finding that the going is becoming more difficult as one has to get deeper into the block. The mallet head can ricochet off neighbouring stone, and finding access for the right chisel angle becomes onerous.
The legs of our giant tree sprite (a colloquial form of spirit, from our oak tree dryad and river naiads) have started to become more visible as the relief grows in depth. I started to realise the link to the mediaeval house spirit, (Robin Goodfellow, Puck or its diminutive Pixie) which has its place in folklore. The block now has that visual element of surprise (the sort of thing that Shakespeare was getting at through the spoken word) – a mischievious playfulness that belies what an inanimate object should be capable of.
I couldn’t quite make the end of a six hour session today, a combination of heat and not having had enough sleep. A lesson in preparedness, but also to remind that our task is indeed a mountainous one.
The first of this season’s alderflies have abruptly shifted off their mortal coils. The circle of life rolls on and, as Tim Rice (with lions, mind you) reminds us: From the day we arrive on the planet/And blinking, step into the sun/There’s more to see than can ever be seen/More to do than can ever be done.
The stone will be an everlasting prompt to value the present.
Next carving Weds 29th, Sat 1st June.