19th October 2019 – John Adamson talks about Inspiration.

John has been a wood sculptor for 60 years, for this presentation he talks about inspiration.

When John started wood carving there were no magazines and certainly no internet and the only book, he could find on carving was Whittling and Woodcarving by EJ Tangerman.

He looks for inspiration in the shape of a log and wood; using logic and asking the questions –  who, why, what and where; and experimenting with new tools and techniques.

For his first piece his wife suggested he carved her holding their dog.

John always carries a notebook and sketches people in public places and on buses etc. Having a collection of characters in his notebook inspired him to carve ‘Firelight’ out of a Hawthorn root base. This led him to produce a group of a family round a bonfire, where they were peering into the bonfire with their backs to the outside world.

With a young child in the house, he was inspired to carve a rattle for the baby which had a handle with ball shapes carved inside it.

Then he thought why not experiment with shapes. He made a cube with ball inside, then a ball with square holes carved in it.

The progression from there continued with a pyramid shape with various geometric holes cut into it.

More recently John has been inspired by a Victorian card design called a Myriorama, where various points connected to each other by earth and horizon matched but the picture could be completely different in each picture. John produced his own Myriorama using blocks of tong and groove wood with different designs on with interconnecting points.

John also touched upon the work of a recent speaker, Murray Taylor, who inspired John to produce carved chip carving shapes. In an experiment rather than the traditional triangle shapes he elongated the triangle to show a Christmas tree could be carved in this method also.