Sunday, August 3, 2008

Dropping the veil

The picture is of Matahari at the conclusion the Dance of the 7 Veils. I have always been fascinated by Belly Dancers. I tried it for a time and enjoyed the process, but my liver just is not pleased by movements anymore. I was however exquisitely fond of the Camel move.. go Gimel go :)

So after yesterdays flurry of activities, I was prompted ( please read hamster kicked) to get off my ass and work on my Druids wand and crane bag. Perhaps it was the glorious green inertia of FierceBunnies Peridot wand the inspired me :) Whatever the cause the hamster was in fine form.

This morning was all about sewing the crane bag and working out the details. It is a stamped faux ostrich leather that I got in a grab bag of leather. Again it just sort of called out to me at Tandy's while I was buying the raw horn for the Hirlas horn. Somehow recycling scrap leather just seemed appropriate. Of course it has all sorts of technical challenges that I am trying very hard not to throw money at. In tool construction you can overcome almost anything by just buying this or that. Due to the nature of the Druid path and my propinquity to acquire toys, I am trying to work out most of the challenges with what I have here. The only concession was a trip to buy some E6000. So with nothing more than a leather needle (don't we all have those laying around???) and waxed heavy twine I set to work to stitch the bag together. My fingers are probably not going to work tomorrow, but I did it :) The rest of the details, I will work out as I go.

The only other time I have worked in leather it was to make a gorgeous pair of shoes for a renaissance costume. They were hand constructed using an old two needle technique. It was tapestry, leather, gold work, glass beads and about 40 hours. They are also the last pair of shoes I intend to make :) The bag still has a few technical challenges to work out but overall I am pleased. When I am really pleased I will post pictures.

About 6 months ago I was trimming some shoots off of our silk oak in the back yard. One in particular announced itself as the raw material for my Druid wand. Who was I to argue? So I dutifully stood it on end to dry. In the blast furnace that is our summer, the wood is completely cured. High heat and low humidity do an amazing job in a hurry.

So today I grabbed a sanding block and the former shoot. I ran the block over the entirety of the 6 foot length just to get a feel for where the wand was hiding. Once we ( hamster, wand and I) agreed on the general location the work of the Work began. It yielded immediate glory and glee. The first pass revealed a smooth wood that was a tactile delight. A bit more effort had the brown bark give way to a green striped layer. It hinted at a white yellow wood beneath.

Then suddenly it hit me. This was like a belly dancer slowly dropping veils. At one point I was a dancer and have been trained to tease the veils out as you go. I was never particularly good at it, but I have seen dancer's who were. In reality the wood was more like a reluctantly shy lover revealing only a bit at a time. I laughed as Billy Joel's "Only the Good Die Young" started playing in my head. You have to appreciate the antagonist in the song pleading his case..

"Come out Virgina don't make me wait, Catholic girls start much to late. Sooner or later it comes down to fate and I might as well be the one. I 'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints... only the good die young."

The movement to reveal the wand was exactly the same as the Priestess stroking the lance in the Gnostic Mass. Yes the part right before the Deacon calls out the names of the Gnostic Saints to raise up the male energy. I admit it, the similarities made me smile.

As I looked over at the table, I realized that Frater POS's sanding block was on the patio table too. His was covered in white paint and oak grain. I laughed and pointed out to him that we are working on opposite sides of the process again. He is trying to cover up the wood with white paint so as to mold it his Will and I am stripping away the bark to reveal JUST the raw wood. I suppose that my alchemy is taking on many many forms. Vive le diference!


Lavanah said...

There is something altogether sensuous about working with wood like that-by the time you get to the final prepping of the wand, its more like massage and a caress than sanding. And the wood knows. I look forward to hearing more about this project.

My Gal said...

I will definately be working on massaging the wood. I just find it amusing how opposite our processes are for the same tools. It is however starting to get smoother day by day :)