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  • This journal is dedicated to the beauty, mystery and power of Numinous Nature, and is meant to encourage a renewed love-affair with the Wild as found in our forests, prairies, mountains, deserts and back-yards.

Manifesting Ecstatic Naturalism

My apologies for the lack of activity here for a while.

In these days of dramatic habitat change, one of the things that most sustains me is the shared love for nature and beauty found among those intoxicated and enthralled by their place in nature. I am bolstered by a small network of lovers thrilled by an animal sighting, some anomalous landscape mystery, or an artist adept in the out-of-fashion, but ever priceless and seasonal, expression of endearment with nature.

“The state of feeling which makes one capable of such achievements is akin to that of the religious worshiper or of one who is in love.” Albert Einstein

I met Janel more than 20 years ago and felt an immediate kinship around a shared affinity for the natural world and expression of such through art/craft means. At that time she was working in carved porcelain, and moved shortly thereafter to wood and other organic materials. A friendship developed as we met regularly at craft shows or netsuke conventions, where there were shared meals, B&Bs and an ongoing dialogue about woods, tools and habits of critters.

So I would like to present Janel’s work which speaks volumes, and a few of her own comments. She makes it look easy. It isn’t. All of these pieces were carved from a block of material, some with natural suggestions or “defects”, and all with unique color and grain characteristics.

To see more of Janel’s work please visit her website:  Janel Jacobson

Also, you can click each photo below and be taken to its archival page at Janel’s website for more views, and other works from that year.

Additionally, each piece has a number and can be located through this link at Janel’s site:  Numerical List

 

 

Janel in Vermont with woodland Fairy Queen (aka Jean)

Janel in Vermont with woodland Fairy Queen (aka Jean)

 

 

 

 

288-3

# 288 Friends

# 288 Friends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

# 379 Dragonfly

# 379 Dragonfly

 

# 379 Detail

# 379 Detail

 

 

 

# 380 Dancing Rabbit

# 380 Dancing Rabbit

 

 

# 406 Collection 2 Pods & Seeds

# 406 Collection 2 Pods & Seeds

 

# 406 Collection 2 details

# 406 Collection 2 details

 

 

# 441 Dragonfly Floating

# 441 Dragonfly Floating

# 441 Detail

# 441 Detail

 

 

 

# 381 Red Lily

# 381 Red Lily (3 views)

 

 

Ukibori technique; punching with round punch

(1) Ukibori technique; punching with round punch

Ukibori Technique punching before raising

(2) Red Lily Ukibori Technique punching before raising

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Lily Ukibori final

(3) Red Lily Ukibori final

 

 

#383 Oriole Nest

#383 Oriole Nest

# 401 Desert Pod

# 401 Desert Pod

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#386 Summer Singer

#386 Summer Singer

 

# 386 Summer Singer work-in-progress

# 386 Summer Singer work-in-progress

 

 

 

 

397_03w

#397 Twilight Meeting

#397 Twilight Meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

# 505 Oak Savanna Sentinel

# 505 Oak Savanna Sentinel

 

 

# 426 Juniper Toad

# 426 Juniper Toad

 

#509 Nesting Place

#509 Nesting Place

509_2

 

 

# 447 Dogwood Blossom Necklace

# 447 Dogwood Blossom Necklace

#480 Apple Leaf & Peeper Necklace

#480 Apple Leaf & Peeper Necklace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

# 491 Pea Pod Pin

# 491 Pea Pod Pin

502

#502 Nicandra Pod & Leaf Brooch

 

Porcelain Lidded Boxes #s 102, 103

Porcelain Lidded Boxes
#s 102, 103

Porcelain Lidded Boxes #s 102-103

Porcelain Lidded Box detail
#103

 

#252 Glazed Jar

#252 Glazed Lidded Jar

Grottos for the Rest of Us

The warmest days of summer just past seem to draw many to “the beach”. As much as this seems to resonate at large as the ideal getaway, I suspect I am not alone in not being particularly drawn to wide-open sunny expanses, often crowded with humanity.

Give me the cool, rocky stream with dappled shade and the company of inch-worms, squirrels and Maidenhair ferns, accompanied by the Wood Thrush’s atavistic song.

A type of peace and comfort descends when every surrounding square inch exudes beauty and wildness.

 

grotto 2

 

 

 

grotto 6

 

grotto smacked

 

grotto 4

 

grotto 5

 

mirror pool

 

grotto 1

Heartening….

In my twenties I discovered trees as kindred creatures as a result of my interest in woodworking, beginning in 1971. I lived in Western Washington State and spent hours scouring the woods for figured Large Leaf Maple in what was then rural territory, namely the Sammamish highlands south of Redmond, now shockingly suburbanized. In the woodlands, during those times, I began to realize that I was among friends and learned to value the experience of being in the forest apart from seeking wood product.

Obviously, as evidenced by my work, I maintain an interest in wood, but also maintain a continuing and deepening love for trees and their natural lore. The gifts from trees are prodigious; food, shelter, air-conditioning, paper, beauty, and not least, the sequestering of carbon from the air, along with many others. Somehow, for various reasons, I have not planted as many trees as I would have liked. It is a regret.

A few years ago I bumped into Nicko Rubin at the Plainfield, Vermont farmers’ market where he was displaying a variety of his trees. I have since enjoyed meeting him at farmers’ markets and also visiting his nursery. I find his devotion to arborculturism extremely heartening, especially his efforts to create edible, sustainable landscape. Also extremely commendable are efforts to rejuvenate the American Chestnut, once a dominant species in the eastern US. Nicko follows in the footsteps of Plainfield mentor John Wires (1922-2013).

Here is a link to Nicko’s website:  East Hill Nursery

And some photos from last week during the stupendous mid-May Vermont leaf-out.

 

Flowering Plums

Flowering Plums

 

 

Nicko with Mulberry

Nicko with Mulberry

 

Apple graft

Apple graft

 

 

IMGP8150PSE1web

 

12 different apple varieties grafted on a single trunk

12 different apple varieties grafted on a single trunk

 

 

Chestnuts(photo Nicko)

Chestnuts(photo Nicko)

 

Healthy young Cestnut

Healthy young Chestnut

 

 

Spontaneous Bursts of Luminous Wild Pride

In 2005 we took the wee grandkids to O.O. Denny Park in Kirkland, WA. It is a hidden treasure of wildness with reputedly the tallest Douglas Fir in the Seattle metro area, along with a lovely bit of lakeside frontage on Lake Washington. I always love taking Erika and Brennan to natural areas as they become clearly enlivened by it. At one point Erika, than 8, had hidden on a huge old stump. After coming down she declared, “I feel proud!” I took it as an expression of pure joy of the moment. Nearly brought to tears, I resisted asking what she was proud of. It seemed evident it would not do to deconstruct it.

The first two photos below are from that day. The subsequent photos from 2010 and 2011.

DSCN1349web

DSCN1334web2759Erikaweb

IMGP2751webIMGP2768web

IMGP2770webIMGP2773web

IMGP2790webIMGP3608web

 

Crunch Time

I wrote this as a piece of fiction for another project and then thought, “hmm, seems not so fictional”:

“The world had come to a point of decision, the cusp of light and darkness. A vileness had, for centuries, infused itself into the power structure of virtually every major culture, and many, but not all, “minor” ones. The pandemic focus of power, fear and technology ensured that the struggle to obtain finite resources engendered constant war. Many citizens were aware that this condition could not continue but were powerless to effect significant change in the concretized order. The choice became either violent revolution, despair, or a quiet, purposeful exodus to relatively peaceful hinterlands, where people learned skills for local cooperation and steadfast, sustainable occupation.

Also, rather than despair, many turned to time-honored modes of upliftment in the perennial spiritual heritage, such as meditation, prayer and looking to nature for expressions of the infinite. As ever, it was possible, from wherever one stood, sat or lay, to foster faith that the darkness was not equal to, nor opposite of the Light, but was in fact contained by it, and mysteriously part of the overarching, ineffable Numinous beauty.”

Bounty

Bounty

 

Takenoko (baby-bamboo)

Takenoko (baby-bamboo)