Golden Eagle and Bullsnake Carnie MalletRyder Evan Robison
Original artwork wood burned on antique carnival mallet.
23 inches long x 9.5 inches wide x 5 inches
When my grandfather passed away over two decades ago I inherited his old farm tools. I became enamored with how worn the wooden handles had become and only imagined the stories they could tell. These tools whether it was an axe, a shovel, a pick, a hatchet a hammer or a knife had been worn simply by use and the years of being held by once a young man and then an old man. These pieces became retired. They were too weathered to use, but simply too beautiful to be discarded. I felt it was my duty to inscribe something upon their handle. An epitaph in imagery finally laying the piece to rest. The subject matter found in all of my pyrographic work stems from nature. This could have been seen from the field where that axe went to work. A crow entwined by a snake, a rabbit running through a field of thistle. In contrast to my previous works on canvas, with these burned wooden pieces, I encourage the viewer to interact with the work: to hold it, turn it, see the imagery wrapping around its hilt and imagine who used it last and where it came from, completing its story. I enjoy knowing that what I am creating is not adding to a list of things but instead giving new life to some things that would otherwise be discarded. Ryder Evan Robison, January 2015