Michael was kind enough to forward some photos to me representing his work so I will show you those and give you some information on wood carving.
Ever since the beginning of time humans have wanted to decorate every day articles. A North American native will carve his wooden pipe stem and/or his wooden fish hook just like the Hawaiian will decorate his wooden paddle. As humans we love to have unique items that are beautiful around us.
There is a wood carving of a man in the Cairo Museum. Apparently the facial expression and carriage of the man are very realistic and the quality of work has never been duplicated by any Egyptian sculptor then or since. (it was carved about 4000 BC) The eyes are inlaid with pieces of opaque white quartz, with a line of bronze surrounding to imitate the lid; a small disk of transparent rock crystal forms the iris, while a tiny bit of polished ebony fixed behind the crystal imparts to it a lifelike sparkle. Sounds gorgeous doesn't it?
Religion has brought the world loads of exquisite carvings. During the Gothic Period (12-15th centuries) bands of carvers would travel from church to church offering their services. The work these craftsmen did was not only talented and creative it also showed the deep devotion of the artisans. And each group of carvers would have a different style, kind of like a signature. I suppose then if someone went over to Europe to one of these old churches the person could study the work and eventually recognize which band worked on that church.
Muslim wood carvers in Persia, Syria, Egypt and Spain have shown a skill that has been difficult to exceed. They designed and created rich panelling and other decorations for wall linings, ceilings, pulpits and all kinds of fittings and furniture. Mosques and private homes in Cairo, Damascus and other Oriental cities are filled with elaborate and minutely delicate woodwork.
This bench is outside Banyen Books on West Fourth Avenue in Kitsilano.
There is a lot more on the history of wood carving in this article I found on Wikipedia so if you are interested in learning more you can read it there.
As you can see Michael's work is exquisite and one of the best I've seen. He has a website where you can view his works. He also does photography and there are some interesting pieces of artwork there. As well a new bench Michael has designed goes in this week for The Pine Free Clinic on Fourth near Maple. It has been painted beautifully by a friend of his Nyla Sunga . When he sends me more information I will let you know more.
Today I feel like I really showed you some beauty. Thank you Michael for sending me the additional photos.
I hope you find the beauty around you.Karen Magill, Michael Asti-Rose, Vancouver,Wood Carving,Egypt, Commercial Drive,History,Banyen Books