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Janel

What to do with our ears while carving...

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We all have ears and a brain that works while carving. Who can listen to something while working, who needs silence and when, what do we listen to...

 

 

This is another fun topic, but is also a very serious one for me. Several years ago, I found that I could read bed time stories aloud to my son years ago and think about other things at the same time. I also know that I can follow stories or music and the work flows smoothly. When I need to use more of my brain, to have a visual and intellectual conversation between the piece and my senses, I need silence. The first day or two, or the planning and roughing in of a piece, are done with silence. Lots of conversation going on at that time in my head. I even use ear plugs if I am using machinery or if my husband has his radio blaring in his part of the studio. total silence can be an asset. Today, I find that I am turning off the book on tape occasionally, because I have some decisions to make about where to go with a particular element in the piece.

 

I could bore you and be specific about my reading choices, but they are broad, as broad as the regional libraries allow at any rate. I do like jazz and the old "Hearts Of Space" music of more than a decade ago. For me, challenging listening is an interruption, bad news sorts of things, real news of bad things which our world is unfortunately filled with. Complex, intertwined and thoughtful portrayals of human relationships, historical fiction and a great host of other topics describes minimally what I look for. Fortunately the libraries are acquiring more tapes and CDs as the years pass.

 

If I work with silence for a whole piece, my theory is that I focus to much on a particular element for too long, instead of bringing the piece forward as a whole until the detail stages are reached.

 

Share your thoughts members?

 

Janel

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Guest Clive

I listen to talking books Janel... I order them from the public library by the box full. I've just listened to 16 hours dedicated to the life of Elanore of Aquitaine.

(She was one of the most powerful and dynamic women of all medieval Europe) and tomorrow I might listen to it all again. B)

 

I can't listen to music when I'm working.... it affects what I'm doing.

 

Oh and I listen to out for any load bangs... that usually means I've fallen asleep and hit my head on my desk. :P

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Thanks! I needed a good laugh tonight. I've been working on the piece while in a delicate state and did a bozo thing. I'll muddle through, but the serenity is shot.

 

Do you wear a helmet when you are carving?

 

Janel

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Guest DFogg

I am very conscious of what I am listening to in the shop. Music is helpful for centering and establishing a rhythm especially when there are long hours ahead of repetitive grunt work, but I don't put it on unmindfully. I listen to selected radio shows for news and information, but can't stand commercial radio, it will have me gnashing my teeth and running for the knob immediately.

 

Often, I prefer to just listen to the tools and the birds in the woods. I have over the years moved further away from tools that are noxiously noisy, preferring to use hand tools over turning on the "dam" grinder.

 

It seems that all vibrations affect us and while we have become quite desensitized living in the modern world, if I allow myself quiet space, I find I hunger for it.

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I'm listening to music most of the time, but as Don said, not indiscriminately. I like to create a mood conducive to inward visualization. I listen to a lot of contemporary "Celtic" and a fair bit of classical. Also some "World" music that tends to the meditative. Hearts Of Space has some great archives arranged by categories. I've got a lot of stuff on iTunes on my Mac. I don't like the feeling of isolation using head phones, so it's just going into the shop.

 

If I'm cleaning, I'll put on Aretha Franklin or Cream. :P

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I've recently switched to head phones. The speakers I have do not produce clear sounds, whether soft or loud. I do not want loudness banging on my ears for hours. The head phones produce a more clear voice from the reader and I can listen at a lower volume more comfortably. The cord is a nuisance, but tolerable. The light weight head phones do not block out other sounds, so when Will has his volume turned up in his part of the studio, I wish I had the sound blocking type.

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i have 50 gigs+ on my server of various types of music that runs through the stereo system and plays 16 hours a day . betty boop,louis armstrong,cajun,celtic,chinese opera,nordic and the list goes on and on. about the only time i don't listen to music is when i'm in the shop with hearing protectors on.

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Guest ford hallam

It`s funny but whatever I put on the CD player I rarely hear anything at all. If there IS something particularly loud or discordant ( including morons on the radio ) I have to turn it off. :)

 

It`s quite important to me to be able to feel my own heartbeat as I only tap with my hammer between beats. That way I avoid any irregular bumps. Extranious noise just gets in the way. :) Also if I listen very carefully I can hear the molecules of metal scream as I split them with my chisel.......it`s a guy thing :(

 

bags of hush, please

 

regards

Ford B)

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Guest ford hallam
Thump, forehead hitting the desk in a moment of weakness from happy laughter!

 

Hmmm, I`m a little concerned by what seems to a propensity for netsuke carvers to bang their heads on their work benches :) this might explain a lot..... :(

Anyone else feel the need to confess to accidental self abuse :)

 

take care out there,

Ford, who`s head is bump free oh` and as I mentioned before, perfectly formed. B)

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Guest ford hallam

]

Oh, I think you may find the price too high, Kathleen Dr Faust certainly did. :huh:

 

Is`nt that curious Jim, how I chose an image quite randomly( or was it? ), that apparently expresses my nature so aptly, he he he <_<

 

Ford.

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Guest ford hallam

sorry Janel, yet again Jim led me astray and off topic. and Kathleen was very naughty too. <_<

 

Back to your query, I`ve just realised that i do in fact use music in my studio. As part of my ritual of entering into the flow, as it were, tidying the bench ( I remember Don Fogg saying how that forms part of his preparation , many others too, i`m sure ), I light a stick of Japanese ( no substitutes ) incence and put on a CD of a shakuhachi master called Kohachiro Miyata. I`ve been listening to the same track for about 20 years. It`s called Honshirabe, which means original/true, sound/tuning. I know this piece, which is just under 4 min long, so well I think it must be form of autogenic training. From the very first breathy, plaintive note I feel my being becoming profoundly still. I`m actually listening to it now as I type.

I suppose it`s become a touchstone for me.

 

:huh:

 

Ford

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Guest ford hallam

P.S.

 

I`m not really as horny as my avatar might suggest.

 

<_<

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I need and enjoy the diversions! Laughter is such a good thing! Besides, we get to know a lighter side of each of each other. We are being very sober and deep thinking in the other topic you've got going this morning, "Time is on my side". A little levity is in order <_<

 

Janel

 

(wish we had more smilies to choose from sometimes)

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Guest ford hallam
What I do with my ears....I have the luxury of deciding what sound I want to hear, so I'm very lucky there I suppose.  I hadn't given it much thought as once I start working all sound and activity drop into the background to the point where I only hear the piece I'm working on and my own thoughts.  I've long gotten used to a lot of disruption around me while I work (in a shop with a bunch of men hounding one all day will do this, although that's not the only thing that did it). 

 

I'm afraid I have to disagree with you Ford on the Japanese incense...I find that limiting to the olfactory senses....open your mind and try some white sage.... :huh:  :D  You really have to stop encouraging this line of comment from me by telling me I'm naughty....I'm worse than you'll ever know.  :D  ;)  ;)  :D

 

Kathleen

 

Kathleen, you misunderstand, you don`t stick the incense up your nose. <_<

As for all those guys hounding you, you loved it ;)

Do I detect a wiff ( could`nt resist ) of native shamanism in the use of sage. Personally I use sage for stuffing birds ( insert ambiguous smily here ), chickens mainly.

 

As always,

 

Ford ( innocent faced smiley, butter would`t melt in my mouth smiley )

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Guest ford hallam
Wit and wisdom is a potent combination :huh:

 

You really know how to make a fella blush, Doug <_< but you know that wit is the lowest form of humour, so it suits. As for wisdom, I appreciate your vote of confidence but I think many would choke with laughter at the notion.

 

Ford ( somewhat abashed smily )

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