"Spiritwood Carvings" - by Carol Hakes
Wood Spirits

Tale of the Wood Spirit
The next time you are strolling through the woods, keep an eye out for one of these elusive creatures.

Most often glimpsed as a green man with leaves for his beard and hair, the Wood Spirit is said to be Lord of the Forest and Natural Things. Seeing one is said to be quite a lucky thing, and European villagers used to go out on regular hunts, hoping to find a Wood Spirit to foretell the future of their village.

They are extremely strong. Wood Spirits can tear an opponent limb from limb and can tame any wild animal, including ferocious dragons and skittish unicorns. At the same time, they are gentle with the maidens, children, and men of good heart.

It is said that the forest will stand for as long as the Wood Spirit remains to keep order. And if you're lucky enough to see one, health, happiness, and good fortune will be yours. However, that does not happen often. Wood Spirits would rather see than be seen. Most sightings are by children or by the pure of heart.

When you take your Wood Spirit home, give it a place of honor. Include the Wood Spirit in the audience when you tell jokes (Wood Spirits have a delightful sense of humor). If you do these things, your Wood Spirit will bring his gentle wisdom, humor, and luck into your home. Enjoy!

Author Unknown
FOREST QUEEN










OAK MAN






BEFORE

AFTER






BJARTE (BRIGHT MAN)
4' TALL CARVED FROM BASSWOOD









HAPPY TRAPPER




ANOTHER 5'
WOOD SPIRIT






"WILSON"
INSPIRED BY THE MOVIE CASTAWAY WITH TOM HANKS.....THIS IS MY NORTHWOODS VERSION OF WILSON!








"STORMY"

This wood spirit stands 5 feet tall and is carved out of ash.


 









"WINDY"

5 foot tall wood spirit
This was made from a blown down ash tree.






"Buddah's Enlightened Peaceful Spirit"
This is a special order memorial carving.
He stands 4' tall and is carved out of pine.













Wood Spirit carved for a client who both her and spouse LOVE wood spirits.  It was an anniversary gift from the wife to the husband.  It has a flat back and will easily hang on the wall.


















These 3 pictures are of a
20" Tall Wood Spirit Carved in Balsam.

picture #1





picture #2



picture #3









Small Spirit 
carved into a wood knot......fits in palm of hand







Tamarack Swamp Wood Spirit
2 Feet Tall

Our son harvested this log out of an old tamarack swamp on the 
"Thompson Farm" in Cornell, WI. 





Another look at a tamarack wood spirit





This wood spirit is carved into the head board of a balsam log bed we made.  
You will find this also on the log bed page.  It is a twin bed. 







Wood Spirits of the Chippewa River

This knot of pine with the metal stake through it was found with a metal detector while my husband and I were hiking along the banks of the Chippewa River.  It is at least 100 years old and was part of a structure on the banks where a ferry crossed the river so many years ago.  

This is an exciting find as Cornell, WI celebrates its Centennial this year!  Our city was named after Ezra Cornell, founder of Cornell University. The college and the Cornell family owned large tracts of land in Wisconsin.

The city of Cornell is in the county of Chippewa.  The recognized father of Chippewa County is Jean Brunet who came north from Prairie du Chien in 1828. Brunet built the first dam in Chippewa Falls in 1836 and later built the dam at Little Falls—now Holcombe where this wood carver was raised. While others became rich in worldly goods, Brunet served his church and community and was rich in love and respect. The city of Cornell was originally called Brunet Falls and now Brunet Island State Park on the Chippewa River at Cornell is named in his memory.

To come full circle I think it is fitting that I carved a couple of faces on this historical piece.  I will name these two faces as  I see them: 
"Jean Brunet and Ezra Cornell".  

This place I call home is truly God's Country.


LOG JAM ON THE CHIPPEWA
I LIKE THE UPDATED VERSION OF TRANSPORATION: MACK & VOLVO TRUCKS DONT YOU THINK? 

WE STILL FIND BARK FROM THESE LOGS IN OUR FAVORITE SWIMMING HOLE ON THE CHIPPEWA WE CALL "THE CAMP SITE".








STACKER CITY USA!  SEE THAT LEANING TALL STRUCTURE TO THE LEFT?
THAT MY FRIENDS IS A STACKER:
WHAT IS A STACKER?  
This is a pulpwood stacker. It was manufactured in England and brought here in 1911 and 1912. It's a conveyor belt system that's used to stack logs into giant piles. It was used to save manpower at the time when there were not a lot of workers interested in doing the job. The logs would come in on the river or the railroad in 81 inch sections. They were cut in a sawmill under the stacker and then went up the stacker and into piles and then on to the paper mill and into products. The stacker is 178 feet tall and at times the piles were as tall as it. In winter sometimes the conveyor would freeze and the men would be able to stand on top of the pile to fix it. If you talk to any man here over the age of 50, at one time they either worked on the stacker or for the mill or fell prey to the dare of climbing the beast.   All year long, someone was always at the top--spring, summer, fall and winter. In 1971 it became obsolete and stopped running. In 1989, the buildings below it caught fire and were destroyed. Now the mill buildings are used by Mule Hide Manufacturing. It's the largest company in the area and makes felt paper for roofing. The stacker is the only one still standing in the world--that I know of. It's a landmark that you can see for miles and it's Cornell's legacy. It'll be 100 years old in 2012 and it's a big piece of pride for Cornell and my family as my father in law worked and retired from there. "Gramps" as we call him has "logging" running through his veins..... and it has trickled down through the generations with his son, my husband, carrying on the legacy &  celebrating 25 years in the industry.  
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