Today I met Trudy. She admired my shoes in a Charlottetown coffee shop. I have always had trouble accepting compliments (even about my shoes) but I did appreciate her admiration of my shiny Keds.
Coffee in hand, I later spied Trudy manning her booth on the sidewalk of Queen St. Sundays are the day of the Downtown Farmer’s Market with most of the booths showcasing artisans.
I was not surprised to learn that she is an artist …. an incredibly creative one at that. Trudy’s talent is carving which is why her Cabin Fever Carving wares caught my eye.
My father was a carver for twenty-five years and won many ribbons and prizes for his work. He carved mostly decorative decoys so I grew up in a world of blocks of tupelo, sawdust, wood burning and oil paints.
Unsurprisingly, I have great admiration for carvers as it is an art form that I have never attempted. I have always figured that my block of wood would just end up looking like a much smaller block of wood.
Trudy said that she began carving decades ago after she tagged along with a friend to a carving class. Her friend’s duck has never been completed but Trudy found a passion that continues to this day.
Initially, she did carve with wood but, while living in Yellowknife, Trudy began working with bone and antler. After 16 years of residence in Manitoba, she has returned to her native PEI where she has set up a permanent Sunday booth and an Etsy shop.
Caribou antlers and deer antlers are transformed into beautiful jewelry. These are naturally shed antlers that she has imported from Scandinavia (Caribou) and Ontario (deer).
She also turns beef bones into wonderfully soft shapes like the fish necklace that I could not resist. I turn beef bones into soup broth; that is why she is the carver.
Her process of bleaching the bones is not the most appetizing but it creates a beautiful carving medium.
I am fascinated by people who can find a creative answer to my two favourite questions: What it is? What can we do with it? Trudy’s answer is a truly Random Act of Creativity in my book!
Check out Cabin Fever Carving’s Etsy store here: