This was a piece of a dead black walnut tree that was cut down in the yard of a friend. A cabinetmaker used most of the wood, but I got several sections of logs with knots in them to use for the Carving in Wood and Stone class I teach at a local college. The bark was stripped off and the log allowed to season several years.
This knot - where a limb had begun to rot away - looked like an open mouth. I sawed this light-colored piece of sapwood off the dark heartwood, and then helped it along a bit towards looking more like a mouth. Except for the lips, the surface is the naturally formed layer of wood just under the bark.
For years I thought about different ways of using the image, but was never happy with the results until I used it in CORNUCOPIA.
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