Beaver Connections

Three Beavers

Three Beavers Building a Dam, J. H. W. Tischbein, German, c. 1800.  Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Since sharing some photos of beaver activity in a blog post a couple weeks ago I’ve made a few more beaver connections.  One goes way back to Aesop.

A703, 39

“Aesop’s Fables with His Life: in English, French and Latin,” 1687. Folger Digital Image Collection

If, like me, you weren’t familiar with that unsettling story, this should help to explain the illustration.

Now for a  much more inspiring beaver connection.  Barry Gordon shared a couple photos of spoons he made in collaboration with beavers:

Barry Gordon beaver spoonBarry Gordon beaver spoon 2

Barry has been carving spoons for a long time, and has a gift for finding potential in unusual pieces of wood.  Check out his beautiful work here.

Drew Langsner is busy with many creative endeavors, including one that I think you’ll hear more about before long.  He shared this photo of the pattern left behind on some beaver-eaten sticks Louise had collected:

Langsner Beaver Sticks

This Northwest Coast bowl, carved around the turn of the 20th century, captures a bark-eater in the act

Beaver Bowl Cleveland MA

Beaver-shaped Bowl, c. 1890-1920, courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art

It all inspired me to texture this big cherry hanger with my hook knife.  My teeth wouldn’t cut it.

IMG_9152

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This entry was posted in finding wood, green woodworking, historical reference, nature, spoons, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Beaver Connections

  1. Karl says:

    Thanks for sharing the pictures and Barry Gordon’s spoons! I’m a serious beaver “collaborationist” myself, as you can see in my website link.

    Like

  2. Byron Beaver says:

    I have a strong inner connection with the furry bark biters; I have been called “Beaver” since I was a kid in school and all through my Navy service, and still 45 years later, by my wife. It is my last name and maybe why I became a woodworker! A good friend, part native American and fellow woodcarver was given the first name, “Beaver”, and we have both turned our heads when someone in the room called out to one of us! As boy, I would explore the river bottom habitat beside our country home in the Verde Valley, AZ and try to catch a glimpse of our local beavers at work. I would hear the slap of their tails, but they were always illusive.
    Your blogs and your work are inspirational. Thank you for your great work and contribution to the craft.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dave Fisher says:

      Names don’t get much better than that, especially considering the alliteration. That’s a children’s book waiting to be written!

      Great to hear how the name and the animal has influenced your life. Thanks.

      Like

  3. Jed Dillard says:

    Dave,
    Thanks for the additional inspiration and information.
    Sometimes I can see too much to have a clear path, but I think having all these things fermenting in the subconscious is a good thing in the long term.
    Your sharing other folks’ work is much appreciated.
    Jed

    Like

  4. Brian Crawley says:

    I wonder if you have seen Moll’s beaver map. There are many images of it to be found online, but at this link the beaver inset can be enlarged, and they have a nice write-up about it. https://bostonraremaps.com/inventory/moll-beaver-map-first-state/

    Liked by 2 people

  5. onerubbersoul says:

    Oh my, why did I click on the wikipedia link?! Unsettling story to say the least. If my fall camping trip to High Point State Park (NJ) happens, I’ll have to visit the beavers down on the lake and see if they’ve prepped any spoon blanks for me to carve. Great stuff Dave!

    Liked by 1 person

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