The Horn by Bruce Edmundson
My grandparents on my father’s side farmed in central Alberta. We used to visit when I was young, and my grandfather would tell us tall tales about the buffalo. He, like many, had skulls with horns decorating various sheds and barns. One time an uncle took us to a buffalo ranch. I must have been about ten and my brother twelve. I can remember my uncle who was a large slow moving man driving us there in a station wagon.
At the farm, there were signs telling you to stay in your car. This would have been about 1962. I remember how big the buffalo were, and how still they were. I recall some snow on the ground. Our uncle, who was always telling inappropriate jokes for a 10 year old, talked us into getting out of the car to get a better look. We did, and he drove off. It wasn’t funny to me. I remember a buffalo turning its head, and ever since I have remembered that horn.
Carving this was from memory, the curve of the horn researched through Wikipedia. The horn is a universal shape, the silhouette of a moon.
This is maple burl, and it has the density and hardness of bone. The sharp ends are challenging to carve, and require some patience. Notwithstanding this there is a real pleasure in feeling the edges and seeing how sharp one can get them. This was where I lost the image of the buffalo horn and made the piece more into something of its own, rather than a memory. Maybe I was still trying to get away from the buffalo. Nevertheless, doing this piece reminded me of my grandparents whenever I worked on it. That was a real unexpected pleasure, and it was so strong that I was almost disappointed when I finished the piece, because I was no longer visiting the farm in central Alberta.