Maple Leaf Forever - Canada’s Flowers

At Todmorden Mills, a small shed protected the remaining pieces of the Maple Leaf Forever Tree. On a cold February day, prospective designers took turns in that shed, looking for inspiration. There, in the corner, was a large piece calling our name. This was the beginning for the Ontario Wood Carvers Association - we had the wood, but we still had to decide what to do with it.

 

We wanted to create a piece that celebrates all of Canada. After discussing some ideas, we asked Nail Cox to create a computer rendering using the shape and attributes of this unique wood, with thirteen maple leaves placed on the surface representing the provinces and territories of Canada. Each maple leaf includes the official flower of a province or territory.

 

Rendering of the Base

 

Then the hard work began with the dirty job of cleaning out the inside of the hollow trunk - there was even a chunk of concrete inside! There wasn't much healthy wood left, but what was left had character. Next, thirteen paper cut outs were tacked onto the trunk and positioned to create a good balance of size and movement. These were then traced out. Next, the flowers were appointed to the leaves in a somewhat random order. After tracing all this onto the trunk, Neil, the chainsaw wizard, began carving a relief of the leaves and flowers. 

 

Paper Leaves

TracingChainsaw Carving

 

The details of the leaves and flowers were done with hand tools.

Parallel with this part of the work, Arnold Koch was busy making the base for the carving. The base follows the shape and curve of the trunk, which made it difficult to construct, but the result is beautiful. 

 

Detail Work

 

The piece will be stained and finished, ready to be admired at the Green Living Show this weekend!

You can bid on this item and others made with wood from the Maple Leaf Forever Tree. Click here to go to the online auction website. A portion of the proceeds for this project will support LEAF's urban forestry initiatives.

Ontario Wood Carvers Association (OWCA) was established in 1978 and now operates as a charitable, not-for-profit organization devoted to promoting, educating and connecting carvers in Ontario. OWCA is particularly proud of their Youth Outreach Program and their “You Can Carve” and “Learning by Doing” workshops. “Magic in Wood” is their unique annual competition and show.