Saturday, 15 October 2016

The Screaming Stinkwood Tree

Among the photos I used in my post about the trees I displayed at our club show last weekend was a shot of a rather boring stinkwood tree. The only thing it appeared to have in its favour was a fairly thick trunk.

Suggested front
I acquired that tree off my club's raffle table towards the end of 2012. At the time it was sharing a pot with a young Pyracantha which had taken root in its pot, so my first priority was to separate the two trees. I took them along to a workshop the next day and, once they had been separated, I asked my mentor for a bit of advice regarding styling and accepted what appears in that photo as being the best front for the tree.

Over the next tree years I did very little work on it. Then, late last year I took it to a workshop attended by members of various clubs from my area. I had a special person in mind whose advice I wanted as stinkwood trees are one of his areas of expertise.

Although I don't know him very well he was most helpful and even did some heavy carving on the back of the tree. When he was done I asked if that was still the back and was rather surprised when he replied in the affirmative. As he was the expert however, I accepted his opinion though I was never totally convinced that he was right.

Fast forward to October 2016 and my preparations for the show. I always planned to display the tree showing the "correct" front and when I arrived at the venue, I placed it that way on the display table. However every time I looked at the tree it just felt wrong and I expressed my doubts to many members before the breakthrough moment when one member looked at the gaping hole in the "back" of the tree and said it reminded him of Edvard Munch's painting called The Scream.

That was all the affirmation I needed to go with my gut and I immediately turned the tree around to show this front:

My preferred front

I don't care how many people tell me I'm wrong. It's my tree, and to me the carving is its most interesting feature, so it deserves to be seen. Now I just need to create the canopy the tree deserves.

No comments yet, but I'd love to hear your view.

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