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Friday, January 15, 2010

Beech Art

On Christmas morning, I gave you a sampling of Beech Art, carvings cut into the bark of beech trees. Here is some more.
While I don't know who made most of the carvings, This one, I believe is from a boy who went to school with one of my children.  The carving has been there for at least five years and I think it is closer to ten.
I have no idea who SC is.  There appear to be dots in the shape of a question mark.  I wonder what the question was. 
The marks at the bottom of the tree were probably made by someone sitting down, making me think of my father hitch hiking home from somewhere.  He and his friend reclined by the side of the road raising their thumb whenever a car passed, not understanding why no cars stopped to pick them up.  You don't get far lying down.
This one, I'm pretty sure was done four years ago. Though the tree has healed around it, It is still easy to read.   The less detail in a beech carving, the better.  It is also important to leave plenty of room between your letters.  This not only leaves plenty of bark for the tree's health, but keeps the letters distinct as the tree grows.
Someone appears to have carved a whole diologue in this one, even enclosing what was written in a long circle. Most of the letters have been lost.  They were not deep enough to allow for the tree's growth. A lot of time was spent but the message is gone.

These markings may have been made by the same person as those encircled above for they are about the same depth, showing similar intricacy.  It almost looks like a  cartoon drawing.  If this drawing had been deep enough to last it probably would have damaged the tree.  The inner bark of a tree carries nutrients up the trunk.  A carving this large might not leave enough bark for the tree to get the nutrients it needs for living, much less for healing.  This is what is meant by girdling a tree - when the bark is removed all the way around the tree so that nutrients cannot travel to the top of the tree, much like puting a rubberband tightly around your finger.

This is the carving I showed you the day after Christmas.  It should say "Jay" but apparantly the knife slipped when Jay was carving the "J."  Below that may be a carving of the thought, "I love CEW," with a heart  just to the left of "CEW" but not  very distinct any more.  I can't imagine what the blob below might mean.  Any ideas?
This one is my favorite. I think this is god looking out from within the tree.

I don't think this is a "20" on the bottom right unless it is a birthday.  The tree is not near big enough to have been growing since 1920.
Maybe it is a kind of oil.  Instead of WD-40 it is WD-20.

I like the large, lazy "W" carved around the trunk

This one is great.  It is not very old, probably close to ten years, but this is the same "Chip" whom I wrote you about the day after Christmas.  On the other side of the farm, is the carving of Chip and his "Pap."
made at least 35 years ago. 

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