Sunday, 22 April 2012

Wonderful Old Hand-made Artworks

My late partner, Peter, loved tools that were made by hand. He found these marvelous old hand-made calipers in a garage sale somewhere and they became one of his little treasures. They are not very big - about 10 inches long - and made of steel. I always liked the rough-hewn shoes on the feet and the shape of the legs. Despite their whimsical shape, they really can be used as calipers. I think this is a genuine piece of folk art.

Speaking of folk art, this wonderful little bird was made by my paternal grandfather, Hector Fortier, when he was fairly old. After he retired from a lifetime of farming, he needed to keep busy so he took up wood carving. He carved people and animals out of solid blocks of wood then painted them. Some of his pieces were very good and bought by collectors.

I have only three of his little wood carvings but after many moves and major life changes, I am glad I managed to hang on to them. They are such delicate little pieces.  

This little elephant is one of my favourites. You can see how it was once a cube of wood that he carefully carved into body, legs, head, trunk, ears and tail. He hammered in small nails for the eyes and then painted the whole piece black, except for the tusks. There is something timeless about an object made by hand like this. Let's hope human beings continue always to make such wonderful artworks.


Cuby said...

I too love wooden objects carved, turned and left natural or painted. Your grandfather certainly showed some talent and in particular I rather like the first bird of the two and this skill combined with love must make it so special.

Jennifer Pearson Vanier said...

These are wonderful pieces. Family treasures.

Knatolee said...

WOw, the carvings are just wonderful! So glad you held onto them. And I thought the calipers looked like legs even before I read your captions. So cool!