Hand Carved Birds by Del Stubbs
From One Piece of Solid Wood
(I no longer make these – but thought to leave up the page for folk to see)
I first discovered this type of carving in 1990 while traveling in Sweden – where it is called Spån Fågel (pronounced spone fogel) meaning shaving bird. This field of carving originated long ago in northern Russia and then spread to many countries in northern and eastern Europe where it has evolved into delightfully unique expressions within many different cultures. For instance, where my mothers’ family originated in the south of Sweden, is a craftsman who produces carvings depicting the great cranes that migrate to Lake Vänern. In some countries these carved birds have a special spiritual connotation, or are reserved for celebrating Christmas or Easter. For me, carving these birds is an expression of my love of nature and my appreciation of traditional craft. I delight in bringing to life these birds – and strive to give each one its’ own personality.
Handle them as though they were a living bird, and they will last for generations.
Each one is signed and dated, the stand, brass hanger and thread is all included, and comes carefully packed in a gift box including a card with the written information (above). Bird is about 4″ long.
HOW THEY ARE MADE
I hand carve these birds from fresh northern white cedar, straight from the forest, while it is still very wet. The feathers are not glued on. They are carved with the bird as one piece, and are cut/split by hand – using only a very sharp knife. This is the traditional way – it takes many years to learn. The feathers are then opened up like a fan and interlocked. After the bird is carved the wings are subtley shaped while the wood is still quite wet. After carefull thorough drying, my wife weaves fine strong thread in the last joint of the wings, making it all very strong. She then finds the precise balance point, and attaches the tiny brass hook and the thread. When hung on the stand the bird quietly moves to the slightest air movement – when you walk by, it will move in response.
Click here to see a Youtube video of a Japanese form of fan carving – wonderful! (needs high speed internet)