African Trees and Wooden Art

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The success of the Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour was immediately followed by an African Adventure for Brian and Karen.  The last customers left, the studio was locked and we were off to Kenya and Tanzania for a few weeks.  Trees and wood are always a factor in our travel and we love to see the impact they play in the environment, the culture and art of a destination.

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The thrill of experiencing the Maasai Mara and Serengeti, with their vast expanses, mountains and magnificent wildlife was captured by our camera.  It was the dry season so the stark and majestic trees stood out against the arid desert, sparse grasses and clear sky.  The acacia tree’s umbrella shape and the boabab’s upside-down form provide shade and protection for the animals of the savannah.  We were fortunate to see the Big Five and were always looking for burls.

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Part of our tour was to visit local villages and workshops, and we had the opportunity to see artists carving wooden bowls, utensils and animals.  Brian spoke to the carvers about their handcrafted art, and he admired their skill and expertise.

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One studio demonstration asked for a volunteer to sand one of the elephants and Brian was delighted to join the artists and assist in the finishing process.  We were pleased to make a number of purchases from the workshop. An ebony elephant which has a distinctive dark heartwood body and light sapwood truck and tail will be a happy reminder of our trip and the art of Africa.

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