So many people have asked about the woods I work in. By far my favorite is that wood that has lain dead for decades in remote areas, undisturbed. The tree has fallen victim to storms or disease only to be re-born into my art. The wood must be completely dried to it's ambient surroundings. In nature this process may take many years, even decades. During this natural aging process, weather, insects, bacteria and sunlight transform the once live tree into a very stable mass full of twists and turns with grain characteristics and color not found in any processed lumber. In the case of Eastern Cedar this process will also remove the "sap" wood (white) since it is subject to decay. The remaining "heart" wood is hard, stable and has a wonderful deep burgundy color.
It is impossible not to feel a sense of respect for this material throughout the sculpting process. The subject of my carving is preplanned in most cases. As I reveal more and more of the wood, my initial design gives way to what the wood allows. What some might consider a defect I find a quality and include it as part of the finished piece. Cracking may become a feather or harsh expression as with "Scarface". Complete voids only provide an opportunity for the minds eye to complete the shape, bringing the viewer intimately into the sculpture.
The following images may provide some insight into how "Arising" evolved over several months.