Past Work

My Shtick

A summer project from Plymouth School of Art: Find a stick and use it, in terms of a source of material and inspiration, to make something. 

My Shtick - a wooden sculpture made froma stick, by Peter Heywood
  "Shtick" is derived from the Yiddish word shtik (שטיק), meaning "piece".

In common usage, the word shtick has also come to mean any talent, style, habit, or other eccentricity for which a person is particularly well-known.

(Excerpts of Wikipedia definition)


Several years ago I found 2 peculiar sticks in the garden, both of which had branched and then fused together. 

   Earlier shtick made from found wood by Peter Heywood
  The big one looked like a big fish jaw.  A couple of years ago I stripped off the bark, smoothed and polished it. 
  Starting point for Shtick wooden scuplture by Peter Heywood
 The smaller one languished in my workshop until it was "re-discovered" for this project.
  Possible heads in stick for sculpture by Peter Heywood I could see heads in the stick...
  Another head in the proposed Shtick sculpture by Peter Heywood I played around, drawing some onto images of the stick using Photoshop, with the idea of the stick biting itself.
  Slate base for Shtick, a woden sculpture by Peter Heywood
  I mounted it on a bit of slate I had knocking around in the garden....
  Painting to highlight heads in Shtick sculpture by Peter Heywood
  ..and highlighted the heads using small amounts of red, white and black acrylic paint.
  Painting to highlight heads in
  I like the way the heads acquired characters/attitudes, like the angry one in this picture. 
I also "found" some extra heads - the horse, to the right, which somehow looks male and long-suffering.
  Painting to highlight heads in
 ..and this one, at the base of the shtick, which looks female and has an air of innocence about it.
  Shtick after painting, with red at the top, a wooden sculpture by Peter Heywood
 At the top of the stick, the insides are showing. It must have been damaged while it was still growing because the bark has healed around the hole. 

I painted it red because it was the inside of the stick, the flesh, but I didn't like it.
  Carved legs at the top of Shtick, a wooden sculpture by Peter Heywood
 All the way along I'd been resisting the temptation to improve the heads by carving them.  I knew it would be a mistake because it would destroy the natural character of the stick. 

Then it occurred to me that I could carve the top bit, which I didn't like painted red anyhow.  After some deliberation I carved the bottom half of a person diving into the top of the stick (or is he, too, being eaten?)
  Completed Shtick, a wooden sculpture by Peter Heywood
I'm calling it "My Shtick" because it's my sort of thing.

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