(at the workbench) -a study in the life of a mushroom

Yesterday the last day of February and a leap day besides was filled with rain and I couldn’t help but feeling that April showers had arrived very early and March flowers might appear soon.

New England is certainly not know for early springs, but this year, fooling the senses with the sun shining warmly, the ground starting to soften and a not so little hope in the implausible.  So ton this first day of March (though temperatures are still below freezing as I write this),  thoughts of spring, gardens and flowers are easy.

Beside for a bit of foraging, it would be easy to get lost in a comfortable armchair with a stack of field guides and books reading up on these pretties.


I’ve been thinking about just what toadstools might crop up in the soil of  dreaming imagination; these are a few of the variety in the works I saw in my mind:


robin egg blue toadstools

robin egg blue toadstools (wip)






(at the workbench) – following along

After today, perhaps the thaw will be complete and their tracks will have melted away.


Which will leave me to imagine where there lives travel….



For now, I’ve had the chance to make a few more cast animal tracks. Right now the collection includes: cotton tail rabbit, elk, badger, muskrat, antelope, mountain lion, skunk, jack rabbit and a few others.



(glimpses) – cozying up

hand-carved red cap toadstool necklaces

After an almost entire thaw, we have had this snowy week of snow falls. After a quiet spring-like winter for the most part, it looked like we were nearly there. After a busy reorganization of my studio space this January, at last I feel like now I’m moving forward again.


I’ve been revisiting some nature studies I started last year and have some many ideas I’m eager to work through. I’ve pulled out my field guides, looked at old french champignon charts and scientific identification tables as I work through my studies  of toadstools and mushrooms deciding on what next to carve.


In the end I’m finding I’m even imagining a few little imagined foraging.  So in some ways, I’m grateful for quiet that a another snow storm brings.



(at the workbench) – i will follow

I love unexpected discovery (especially happy ones like this) and how old unwanted, forgotten thing can find a new home in a different time…

in a nondescript box, a collection of what must have been the much loved work of an avid naturalist, I came across the tracks of many a wild animal careful cast ….

perhaps on many a quiet, still morning, their hidden travels were in this way recorded to be saved for future times. What could have been an ephemeral moment has turned into a careful study of woodland creatures native to these parts.

I imagine now, that I am following in their tracks. They are more silent than i can ever be and this tiny muskrat’s paw nearly missed from my sight is no longer.

And in a rare moment, I can now see this badger’s menacing claws from a safe distance and find a place in our nature corner…

how strange to think the foot steps of a mountain lion can find its place among  all the things we find and gather on our very own walks through the years…

ps. I have made several sets available through my workshop here … among the tracks available (many of which are available as front hind print sets) are: antelope, elk, mountain lion, muskrat, spotted skunk, weasel, badger, cottontail and jack rabbit and of course mr badger!

(at the workbench) – toadstools and other fairytales

still waiting for spring here, maybe you are too? i don’t know how it’s always something of  a revelation when the snow and ice melt away to see the earth below again. as if i landed on a completely different world… so as the waiting,  the starts and stops of this current ice age ever slowly move us towards spring,   here’s a little peek of some work in progress.

i am imaging all the little things yet to be an unearthed when mud season really returns, when the river’s waters begin to roar and rush and when our silent part of the world turns wild again with the sound of the returning birds and wildlife.

with this set of toadstools, i’ve decided to make them into pendants like the one above and think i just might make a few other pretty little wild things while i’m at it!