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#16 Ball Enchained

Carved with a jack knife.  Open one-piece ball within the triple chain (also one piece) to reveal another ball with intricate geometric shape, on its own chain. The whimsy chain supporting all (not shown)has movable gears and geometric shapes in every link.  Few whimseys display such a high level of difficulty.

Signed and dated PR Drumm 1995

Black Walnut, Rock Maple, Driftwood with Seashell
32.5” x 7” x 5”

First Prize, North Jersey Woodcarvers, 10/95
First Prize, Wm. Rush Woodcarvers, 10/96
First Prize, South Jersey Woodcarvers, 11/96
Third Prize, Delaware Valley Woodcarvers (Abington, PA), 4/97

Juried Art Shows
National Arts Club, American Artists Registry, 6/98
Salmagundi Club, Audubon Artists, 9/98
National Arts Club, Allied Artists of America, 10/98
CAA Ridgewood Arts, 3/00
Hudson Arts, 6/00
Oradell Arts, 7/00
NCJW Focus on Art, Van Vleck, 10/01


"Carved with a jack knife" - for 40 years I carved with knife I could fold and put in my pocket despite occasional "jackknifing" my fingers when making 'chisel cuts'.  Then a knife supplier at a woodcarving show sold me a non-folding knife that held a sharp edge far longer, and could withstand deeper 'scoops' without snapping (which itself inflicts horrible gashes). I've used that ever since, as it fits in my pocket with a surgical tube over the blade so no self-inflicted surgery.
So 'Ball Enchained' is the last of my jackknifing. It started with idly whittling a 4"x2-1/2" chunk of Black Walnut into an elongated ball, somewhat egg-shaped. Then I wondered, as my hands DO the job, about opening the 'ball' with two 'doors' and triple hinges. That done, there was a lot of wood left intact, which was further whittled into a 'chained ball'. More whittling created a geometric object within the 'ball'. Now I had an 'egg' with 2 doors that opened to reveal a 'chained ball' that held yet another 'ball'.
I couldn't stop with something that would get lost in a drawer, like most whimseys do. No, it had to be made into a classical sculpture and exhibited in The National Arts Club and Salmagundi Club, the epitome of artists in New York City. I had, in my basement filled with pieces of wood (make a nice bonfire when I'm gone!), just the thing. A broken office-chair arm of Black Walnut the same shade as 'Ball'. My hands busily jackknifed while I thought 'triple chain'. It took a while, about 2 hours per link for 3 rows of 23 links that had to wind up equal length for artistic symmetry. That done, something had to hold them apart so 'Ball' could hang freely within. I just happened to have an unusual piece of driftwood from some ocean beach I landed on while kayaking to relax from intense whittling. This piece was a sun-bleached boomerang-shaped wood 6"x3"x1/2"' just right to spread the chain. It has a cavity on leading edge drilled by a tubeworm that then happily grew a tube shell that remains. Very interesting, just the thing. Now 'Ball' hangs on monofilament fishing line, on display.
Still not interesting enough. Needed something more. I found a 17"x 3/4" Rock Maple whimsey lying around in my whimsey box that was just the thing to hang 'Ball Enchained" from. It has so many intricate gears and balls and objects within cages that I jackknifed a while ago! Fascinating.
Look at the list above, of prizes won and prestigious juried show exhibits listed. Heartwarming.          
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