This is Peter Bloch-Hansen’s fascinating Sarantine collage wood carving , with his explanation of the background of the piece. You can click on the picture for a larger image, which will appear in a new window. Just close the window to get back to this page.
“I studied art in High School (in the 60’s), which awakened a lasting love of sculpture. However, I only discovered woodcarving by accident about 25 years ago when I was staying at a resort hotel in the Catskill Mtns in New York. I didn’t do much with it until about 10 years ago when I started carving Star Trek (huge fan) motifs in my little bachelor apt. and selling them at the art shows of the Tronto Trek conventions, of which I was a founding member. The art shows are run by a wonderful group who call themselves The Team Eh. (A-Team, Canadian style — you get it). I carved on apartment balconies for awhile, and gradually bought more and better equipment and finally, about a year and a half ago, established a permanent workshop in my basement. I use a combination of saws, chisels, files, rotary dremmel tools and X-acto knives. This fall, some of my work, including this piece, was featured on a ‘Space Flow’ segment on Space: the Imagination Station. The first carving I did based on a book was a free-standing carving of the dragon Kalessin from Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea books.
I started reading Guy Kay when The Fionavar Tapestry came out and loved it. Each succeeding novel seemed to express a growing mastery of structure and style, but more, a profound humanity, that I found wonderfully moving. When the first Sarantine book came along, I went to a reading by Guy Kay at Hart House, at U of T, and knew I had to read it; paid for a hardcover on the spot. Looking for fresh subjects to carve, I got the idea of doing the “collage” piece — the emperor on his throne pondering weighty mattrers while Shirin danced ecstatically before him, and so on, all under the vast dome of the Sanctuary. I tried to set up a composition that suggested the interconnectedness of the various characters in something like the way the book intertwines their stories. It was a lot of fun to carve, but I wish now I had used a harder wood that would have held the detail better. I’m working on a set of carvings based on The Lord of the Rings right now, waiting for Guy Kay’s next book.”