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#28 Swan Mother and Child

Whittled with a jack knife from an Ash baseball bat.  One-piece with driftwood base added.  The Swan Mother holds her precious egg and baby swan.  Four shells were carved, one inside the other, with the baby swan nestled within the fourth. The first shell opens, gently.  Ash baseball bats are neither easy nor quick to carve—a challenging example of whimsey art.

Signed and dated PR Drumm, 1995
Ash, driftwood
4.5” x 20.5” x 6.5”

Exhibited:
First Prize, North Jersey Woodcarvers, 9/97
Baseball Cards/Collectibles, 6/98
Shrewsbury Art Guild, 9/98
Unitarian Exhibit, 1/99

 

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Yes, what a challenge! Ash is closer-grained than Oak, harder to scoop out or chisel, carving with pocketknife. The results are rewarding, see above, and in the Whittled Whimseys page photographs which follow in this website. In this sculpture, the baseball bat was retained to show where the wood came from.To date, most shows and exhibits have not appreciated the art or the difficulty level of this Drumm Interactive Whimsey, something taken into consideration when planning and sculpting the next prize-winning creation.
 
'Swan Mother With Baby' was carved slowly from the head of an Ash baseball bat so that the curving neck and beak suspend an egg that nests on the Swan Mother's back. Then the egg was jackknifed so that the outer shell opens, hinge in beak. Within that are carved two more openwork shells, which enclose a baby swan nestling securely.
 
This sculpture with such hard wood tested the limits of jackknifing. The jackknife blade hingepin had to be hammered tight when it wore loose from the tremendous pressure of scoop and reverse scoop, as well as from chiseling without 'jackknifing' the blade onto my fingers. I began asking tool suppliers for a rigid pocket knife, after 40 years of jackknifing, eventually finding it.
 
The technical difficulty, apart from the hardness of aged and seasoned Ash, is fairly high for pocketknife whittling. The satisfaction of achievement is high. The artistic level, with driftwood base for the nesting Swan and nestling, is not high enough for Art shows. The well-battered bat had a crack that ran through the Swan neck, not found until shaping the neck. Glue was applied, and a reinforcement shaped across the crack. It is no more perfect than I am, and I'm proud of it. Because of this first bat sculpture, I became a better sculptor, going on to more intricate Ash and Hickory baseball bat Whimseys. Maple baseball bats would be a snap, but most are snapped or shattered in use.  
 
ADVERTISING IS WELCOMED ON THIS OR ANY OTHER PAGE. Contact prdrumm@gmail.com or Teri Hislop (201) 725-4428 
 

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