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Woodspirit

Woodspirit Carvings

by Stephen Gibbs

 

A little Bit about the Artist....... 

 

I suppose I have been a bit ‘arty’ for most of my life, I have had an interest in drawing portraits caricatures and scenery from an early age. This eventually progressed into water colour painting, after a long lapse of anything creative about three years ago I began idly whittling a small branch in my lunch break while sitting on the grass. It was a wizard’s face of sorts which ultimately led to where I am now. My tools and carvings have multiplied on my journey!  All faces are from my own imagination and of course no two are alike.

 

Woodcarving would seem a natural step forward from my hobby of ‘wilderness living’ in the woods. This is something I have been organising with like minded folk for a while now, it is a very calming and grounding experience and quite meditative, living and sleeping in a natural woodland with the sounds of nature all around, with of course a bountiful supply of carefully selected material for my carving!

 

Reiki also features highly in my life; I have practised this for 10 years now progressing onto Reiki master/teacher following the Usui Shiki Ryoho method. The calming aura of the woodland helps to enhance my stay there and I find it inspires my carving, I have been told by several pagan friends, practitioners and my Reiki Master that my carvings resonate with good positive energy all of their own, something I feel Reiki has helped me to achieve, a definite asset!

 

 

The History of Wood Spirits

 

The origin of the Wood Spirits began at the beginning of time. Most tribal and cultural people of the world believed in Wood Spirits in one form or another, most still do! People believe they live in the woods and survive on the wilderness.  The Wood Spirit has always been a sign of good luck and good fortune to those he travels with on the path of life.

 

Wood Spirits can have many names, including; Greenman, Wildman, wodewitch or Woodwose. People living in the woodlands of Europe believed the forests and trees were inhabited by Wood Spirits. They were thought to protect the woods and animals from evil intent. This belief was so deep-rooted that when trees were cut down, rituals were observed to calm and settle the Wood Spirit that resides in the wood.  

 

Tribes from Europe would often send search parties into the woods to try and find a natural wood spirit. Searching fallen logs, broken branches and tree trunks, but the Wood Spirits were so elusive that they could only be seen by the by the pure hearted with good intentions. If a Wood Spirit was seen it would be regarded as a good omen and a sign that the hunt was good and the hunters would return safely.

 

With research i found that the old woodsmen of Europe way back in the dark ages were very protective of their woodland, to this end they told stories of strange beings that inhabited the dark Bavarian forests.

 

 All they ever saw were faces peering out of the foliage...branches stems and leaves coming out of their mouths and noses they always had a fierce and frightening look on their faces, to scare away those who would damage the home of the Pagan Spirits. 

 

This tale was told around campfires through the ages, the mythology of the green man developed into a more human but still fierce image known by the name of woodspirit, or many other variations depending on the area and telling of the tale.

 

Many wood carvings  of the green man are found inside churches and great houses of Europe and beyond, many are often hidden amid the huge roof beams to all but the keen eyed, a mark of respect to appease and pay homage to the pagan wood Spirit!

 

To this day the phrase and action 'knock on wood' is used so as not to temp bad luck into your life, it stems from people knocking on trees before entering the wood to signify their good intentions to the spirits of the wood.!

 

 So if you go down to the woods today ... be sure to look out for a Wood Spirit, for fortune and good luck will come your way!

 

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Stephen at work on a large commission piece for a local wildlife Park

 

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And the finished Piece!!!

 

Wood Spirit Carvings and Commissions 

 

 

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Stephen carves wonderful and unique Woodspirit Staves with Acorns, Oak Leaves, Spirals, Crystals and of course the Woodspirits themselves!

 

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These are his standard woodspirits and a woodspirit with a pointy head!     

 

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We are lucky enough to have these two for sale in our shop!

 

 

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 This delightful Woodspirit has a stunningly detailed Platted beard!

 

 

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And here they are in their Natural environment!!!!!

 

Commission Pieces are welcome, please contact us if you would like a Special Woodspirit made for your Home or Garden! and check out available WoodSpirit carvings in our Shop!

 

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