Tear by Bruce Edmundson
Tears are generated by terrible events, humbling events, and joyous events. This piece represents all those types of tears, and that is why it is so big.
I have tried to render this tear as a thing of great beauty as opposed to something to wary or afraid of. It is also very physical, it wants to be touched. It has density and weight to it, giving it a serious mien while at the same time the lines are so smooth and elemental they are joyous and full of life.
Carving this piece was difficult. It was a real challenge to take out the inner space. And while that space is not necessary, or even normal, for a tear, I wanted to evoke movement in some way; the downward falling of this great weight.
This piece is a good example of how the different facets carved into the piece show off the very different elements of the burl’s beauty. The face on and curved bowl shape display the front detail and complexity of the grain while the inner curves demonstrate how the grain spreads and flows like a thick web of blood vessels.
This piece is was from a maple tree that was logged out to build a house in Central Saanich many years ago. Someone was inspired to take the burls off the maple tree and stow them in an old shed that was kept while building the new house. The burls stayed in that shed until I came along about fifteen years later. I had placed an ad on Kijiji asking people if they had any old burls handing around gathering dust in an old barn or shed. And, lo and behold.
The owners were very gracious, and glad the burls were going to be put to some, and potentially good, use. After we had dickered on the price and I was loading them into the trunk of my car, the woman wiped the back of her hand across her face. Her husband, intuitively it appeared to me, reached out and hugged her. I never asked why she was crying. The crying to me looked like it was that happy/sad sort of crying. Regardless, it didn’t seem to be any of my business. The burls must have meant something to her. Or maybe it was the old shed.