To celebrate Heartwood Art carvings being featured in upcoming issues of Woodcarving Illustrated and Scroll Saw magazines, the “Follow My Carving” series was created to give you an insider’s view on how the art is made. This Gaia carving was requested by my dear friend who kindly took the pictures that will be featured in the magazines.
Gaia was considered a goddess of the Earth by the Ancient Greeks. Most all ancient traditions included a mother Earth, or Great Goddess symbol that represented the continual cycle of life. That tradition is represented in this carving as her arms forming a circle above her head.
Because the Gaia is a fertility symbol, the tree limbs are made to resemble fire, which implies the nature of renewal.
The moon is located in the navel area to represent the central status it still holds in agricultural calendars.
Tree roots at the base represent her deep connection to the Earth energies.
This carving will be a freestanding statue and requires a great deal of depth. An inch-thick soft pine blank was overlaid with a paper template and cut on the scroll saw. It could have also been cut out with a jigsaw, but the scroll saw gives a much smoother edge, especially around the curves on the one interior cut.
Once the tree pattern has been transferred to the wood, the paper overlay will be removed and rough shaping will begin.