The Wood is the Journey

Wood. It’s everywhere. It’s all around us. I’m looking at some right now. My feet are firmly planted on some too. I like it. I’ve always liked wood. That’s an ingrained thing. Wood makes me feel good.

I’ve always done things with wood, carving walking sticks or carving other things. But many years ago I put the more serious carving aside. You just know.

Perhaps you dear reader have experienced something similar with your toolbox of human talents and creative skills. You sense it and you can’t really ignore when something within you refuses to be abandoned, when the pilot light of creativity remains alight. Time goes by but the thoughts, ideas and dreams keep coming. And so it was. And so it is. And so I returned to the tools, the feel and the wood.

A dear friend was instrumental in this return and I am thankful for that. I simply joined the wood sculpting course he was in an the rest took and is taking care if itself. The feeling of relief a sure sign that I was doing the right thing. That I was doing what I should be doing. That it was good to touch the wood and to reconnect with the familiar. I began with a warmup piece, creating in a larger scale the same spiral lines I usually use on walking sticks, this time on a birch log. I still need to finish that one, it is roughed out and ready for finishing work it was a warmup piece and remains a work in progress.


When the wood feeling firmed up, I bought tools and will buy more tools


A second piece began to take shape and is leading me along an unfamiliar path which is intriguing and a bit frustrating at the same time because it is drawing me out of my comfort zone.

And then I found olive, or it found me. Actually a largish chunk of olive trunk wood. Wow. What a find. The possibilities …


top view with wet core

The piece was wet wood, freshly cut when I put it in storage for observation and to let it dry out. Over the next few weeks I peeled off the rough bark, giddy with impatience to expose the fantasy shapes, twists, hollows and bulges that are this piece of wood. Ok, so olive wood is fairly rare in these southern parts of Germany. Finding a piece like that not an everyday occurrence and no, I didn’t find it digitally although a few of my carving colleagues in the course found and bought olive wood pieces online. I am fully aware of the coolness of this score. The trunk is approx. 45cm in diameter and 65cm tall and I guess that the tree must have been close to 60 years old when it succumbed to the worms that were working their way through the centre core.


peeled with mirror


rough start

It is one thing to begin a piece. It is another to finish it. And yet another to turn a project into firewood. THAT is not an option and so I bridled my excitement and only then laid tool to the wood when the moment felt right. But once I began the project grabbed my by the neck with such intensity and urgency that the first 60 hours few by.


roughed out



chiseled and riffled


roughing out


roughing out


opening at bottom




exposed and finishing



So far I’ve whacked away at the piece with carving tools letting the mouthwatering olive smelling chips fly. I’ve spent days in an intensely focused meditative state with long thin riflers in nearly cramped gloved hands creating shapes, rasping lines and following as best I can the dictating flow of the myriad emerging flowing grains and contrasting dark/light patterns that make this wood so unique. And to satisfy my most irritating perfectionist urges, countless pieces of paper parted from sand in varying grades, shimmied to and fro, back and forth, across and with the grain to render by hand a nearly baby bottom smooth finish.








lines & grain


interior view


smoothed surface

At this stage of the project I can see at least 60 hours into the future and perhaps beyond but there is not real rush and I have no deadline other than to create something interesting, something that takes the eye on a visual journey … into the olive wood and I have the finished piece also firmly in mind, yet open to changes as fluid as its grain. The openings into the core of the piece drawing the eye inward, the colorful grain triggering day dreams. All that said, a photo of the finished piece will be added as an update.  Das Holz ist der Weg


Flowers of the Sun


Quote for this Day

My hot strong hands will no veil endure
That shadows your radiant nakedness;
Lay bare each beauty, conceal no lure,
Leave naught to hinder my fond caress!…
~George Sylvester Viereck, (1884-1962) “Love Triumphant”, German-American poet, writer, and propagandist

dancing canadians

Canadiana 115

Canadians like a bit of music too. And the dancing that goes with hit (it spelled the way it is pronounced with French Canadian accent)

Cue Music Video now … click it for Canadian Dance Moves

Extracted straight from the youtubes … word for word like this:

Learn Canadian dance moves with this handy video!

In this educational video, you will learn the basics of the most time-honoured and traditional Canadian dances:

– The Lumberjack
– The Friendly Backpacker
– Scrape the Windshield
– The Cross-Country Skier
– The Beaver
– Pile the Poutine
– Pump the Keg
– Skate the Pond
– Spell Your Name in the Snow
– The Curler
– The Glove Save
– The Dog Sled
– Paddle the Canoe
– Skip the Goose Poop
– The Maple Leaf
– Carry the Two-Four
– Tap the Syrup
– Cold as Ice
– Raise the Cup

Van46 Digital

Concept and Dancing: Stina Diös and Liam Kearney (@kearneycation)

Camera: Jeff Higgins (@jeffhiggins –

Music courtesy of Julia Bentley & Andrew Gunadie:

Buy “Canadian, Please” on iTunes:

iphoneographythis@2012, 2012©myronunrau

Forest at Sunset

iphoneographythis©2012, 2012©myronunrau

Forest Friends



Forest Four





Canadiana 112 with a Sick Twist

Canadian love to go camping. We live in a pretty gigantic camping paradise so the May long weekend in these parts heralds the first official camping weekend for those so inclined. It is a much anticipated weekend to say the least and I was one of of those anticipators. I like getting out into the bush for some closer communion with all things green and just sleeping outside is something special. Making coffee in camp is also something I look forward to, tastes better out there, away from the everyday routine. I made sure I ground enough of the stuff not to run out, hehe.

All that week was spent pumping up the upcoming weekend and I was happy to have three days to hang out out there, away from the city for a while. But one dark cloud threatened that idylic notion. You see, here in British Columbia, if you want to hit a camp ground as it were, you have to make reservations now, in advance too and I’d kind of forgotten to get into that mind set and didn’t do that. Usually I roll up to my favorite place, pick a spot and pay the people who come to collect the over night fee. That was, the new ‘is’ is different. I don’t like the new system because it takes the spontaneity out of something that comes natural and making reservations is not natural when it comes to camping. So my plan was to see what would happen. I had not even really decided where I wanted to be and only figured that one out an hour before I threw my backpack into the car and puttered off down the highway and of the city, a big cup of coffee and a smile on my face.

I decided to go wild, hike into a lake I know and set up there. Not my usual place but far enough from all of the other riff raff that camps ‘anywhere’ on this long and probably busy weekend. I started feeling really good when the houses were replaced by trees wizzing past. The day was lovely, the sunshine warm and I was in a good mood. I hit Chilliwack, a farming town and pointed the car towards a narrow valley and a long stretch of road that would lead to where I wanted to be. Nice, a cold clean river on my right side and trees and mountains everywhere else I looked.

©iphoneographythis, 2012©myronunrau

view from camp

And I ended up picking a spot that wasn’t too far off the road too. I’ve seen this road under a long weekend onslaught many times before. People would pick just about any spot to pitch a tent, and not always in ideal spots but I found one that usually was shared by a number of campers. More than perfect for one person this time. I set up my camp, strung my hammock and set to relaxing and enjoying being out there. I was looking forward to two nights under the stars but what I got was an entirely different experience which began with a bit of a sore throat coming on mid afternoon.

©iphoneographythis, 2012©myronunrau

camp setup

How could it be that I had looked forward to spending some time out by myself over a long weekend and then my body checks in with my brain and the two confer for a bit and come to conclusion that while the idea was a great one, my body had picked up some bug somewhere and wasn’t going to be able to enjoy itself as much as I’d wanted? It happened. I got sick. Real sick, real fast. Thankfully my camp setup was not too complicated and I managed to throw it all together and stuff it back into my clown car (smart car), my head reeling, chills and hot flashes alternating my body temperatures in minutes. Time to head for home …

I made it, just. Had I stayed a couple of hours longer, I would have experienced pure hell out there and I am glad that I listened to my body signals and headed for a real bed. Long story short, I ended up in bed for two solid days of fevers and chills. And oddly enough the weather mirrored my condition and rain set it for those two days too. So, it would have been doubly bad for me out there, had I got stuck out there. Yeah, the silver lining in that cloud cover was sweet but being sick is never a sweet thing ever and wasting a whole weekend on being sick when one should be having fun … well, you probably know what that feels like. It’s been a tough week but I’m feeling better and looking forward to trying that again … soon.