Sunday, February 20, 2011


I can't tell you how exciting my life has been. To recent activities like cleaning the ashes out of my fireplace and sorting buttons at The IDEA Store, I've added sweet potato carving. Does it get any better than this? Really...

I went to a carving workshop at The IDEA Store yesterday and these cranky, crotchety older men with United States Veteran pins on every visible part of their vests and caps taught me and about 15 girl scouts how to carve a sweet potato. I guess the idea is to move on to wood...I really liked it! I've always wanted to take sculpture because I think my three D perspective is pretty good and I've never tried it before. 

Apparently, sweet potato carving is quite the craft. Carving an old man's face into the sweet potato seems to be a particularly popular pastime because the sweet potato shrivels up when it dries. It gets as hard as wood. Makes sense, I guess, because it is a root! Duh.

If you're interested, you can check out this book. :-) 
Such beautiful artwork (I'm joking). Seriously, I'd like to learn how to carve wood and make smooth, abstract objects with it. 

In the workshop, I picked my sweet potato and wanted to make a generic bird because the shape of the potato reminded me of a bird. It was the weirdest thing, though. The more I carved, the more the potato spoke to me. I thought maybe a robin or a cardinal but the potato kept whispering "penguin...I'm a penguin." So here's what I ended up with. Hilarious!! The sweet little girl scout who was sitting next to me said "that's such a cool penguin" and looked at me in awe. I'm that good. I'm too lazy to photoshop these so we'll let the art speak for itself. 

Not bad, huh? It will look nothing like this when it's all shriveled up. I know, I know "that's what she said." I'll try to remember to post a photo because then the excitement will have fully realized itself. 

Every time I try a new craft, I want to pick it up and get obsessed with it. I think I'd prefer wood but we'll see where this carving thing goes. Maybe I can mix knitting, bead making, painting, book binding, shrine making (another class I took recently), welding (I learned a little welding and would love to do more of it!), sweet potato carving and wood carving. If you have any ideas for a project that would combine all of these, please get in touch with me immediately!

1 comment:

  1. Like the little girl scout, I am in awe of you! I love that you're putting yourself out there and trying all these new things. I'm actually kind of pleasantly surprised at what Champaign-Urbana had to offer. You made me laugh tonight and that is really what I needed!

    I still need to hear about these shrines - sweet pototoes are nice, but I'm really interested in the shrines.

    Miss you!!!