by Jane T. Smith
It all began a few years back when a number of white oak trees, located on a friend’s property, became diseased and died. Since they dotted his pasture and garden areas, he was anxious to be rid of the standing trunks.
Knowing that sculptor Ronald Taylor Smith preferred the medium of wood (especially burled wood), this friend proposed that Ron remove all the stumps in exchange for one of the trees. Unable to pass up an interesting piece of wood (what carver can?), Ron chose a trunk approximately five-foot six-inches tall, 28 inches in diameter, and weighing nearly 800 pounds, which had a large burl on its base near ground level.
Generally, Ron’s approach to a sculpture is more intuitive than technical … He allows the piece of wood itself (its shape, grain, and flow) to dictate much of what the final carving will be. In this case, Ron conceived a theme that would be a tribute to the classic fantasy author J. R. R. Tolkien, and the idea for “A Warrior Dwarf Is Never Too Old” was born …
For more information on Ronald Taylor Smith’s carving, contact him at 20940 Bear Hollow Rd., Grass Valley, CA 95949, phone (530) 268-2474.
This article, pictures of the carvings mentioned here, and MUCH more can be found in Chip Chats Volume 45, Issue #3.