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New Member: Jamie Bowen


JamieBowen

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I'm in the middle of preparing for a show in December so i'll make this very short and later come back and fill in:

 

My name is Jamie, I live in Kansas City, Missouri. I haven't been carving long -- about two or 3 years. I am currently working with stone; steatite and alabaster though I will attempt to carve anything someone hands me... I am 43, used to be a network admin, info security, network tech etc. I carve animals and brids mostly, my own patterns, my own photos when I can get them. I look forward to sharing patterns, techniques and resources. My show is Dec 1 & 2 so I may not post anymore until that is over... I thought I'd include some photos of my work; it says more about me than I could explain to you.

 

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  • 3 months later...

Ok, well it took me a while to get back to this.... I had not anticipated becoming so busy in the months after the sale/show I went to in December. I spent the last couple (maybe 3) years teaching myself how to carve, picking up one thing after another and discovering what I like to carve best. It is very strange how my life seems to have such circular aspects to it.

 

When I was eleven or twelve my father gave me a pocket knife. I had coveted that knife for a very long time. The first thing I naturally did was go outside and look for something to carve that no one would miss. I found an old crumbly brick and started to work. When my Dad found out what I was doing he took the pocket knife away. I really didn't pick up the idea of carving in any serious way until a couple years ago. I messed around, yes, but didn't truly apply myself. After I found a need to stop working full time in computers (very stressful field) and a desire to keep myself busy, I decided I would spend sometime teaching myself to become an artist. I could probably find 20 or 30 people who would tell you that I could not possibly have talent (art instructors in highschool and college) but I figure that's ok, I don't believe in it anyway. Talent I think is simply a preoccupation with a specific activity which results in skill. I enjoy surprising people anyway.

 

I messed around with drawing, painting, clay and about a dozen other things not really feeling like I had found what I wanted yet. Then I found a set of stonecarving chisels and files in an old toolbox in the basement of the townhouse I live in. I decided that must be some sort of sign...I found that I enjoy carving, I will attempt to carve most anything but stone is the medium I enjoy most. A bit more than 2 years after I found that set of files and chisels I decided I was good enough to try to sell it. That was this last December. I was surprised and pleased to find people like what I do. Today I sent a couple of carvings out with a fellow artist to the crane sanctuary in Nebraska. It still feels a little surreal, I was not expecting any of this.

 

I work in small scale simply because I can't lift large pieces, and find a need to keep my hands busy all the time. I often tuck a carving into my pocket before I leave the house and a couple of files. That way if I feel a need to fidget or need to occupy my hands, I have something to do. I want people to touch and feel and experience my pieces in a tactile way, I think it is important to enjoy them on more than one level and with more than one sense.

 

I carve animals because I had ready and willing subjects in my cats. They seem to be quite happy to pose for me. Until fairly recently I had a cat who sat on a stool next to me when I carved and demanded to inspect it every so often. He even wore a mask once when I was carving something I didn't want him breathing in. He died more than a year ago. Last March we got a kitten who seems to be growing up to be quite similar. She sits on the desk when I type, and watches me carve. On a certain level I have to say everything I know about carving I learned from my cat...

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