This self-portrait with Lid is my response to a remark I often hear from people seeing my work: I wonder what your brain looks like?
Who would spend hundreds of hours whittling on a block of wood? Who would invest a large part of his identity in a collection of curious objects like these? Who would muster all his intellectual capabilities in the search for yet another model?
I would! And I have many good reasons.
First, the carving process is ideal for mental relaxation, just like meditation. I can go on for hours without getting tired, especially if I am approaching a point when one of the parts breaks loose. That gentle separating cut is a very special experience!
Second, the search for new models has been full of equally stimulating experiences on the intellectual level. It is funny how your best ideas often come out of nowhere when you are occupied by something else, while deliberate struggles often end in blind alleys. Testing a new idea and seeing that it leads to a new beautiful configuration is an absolute highlight. It feels more like discovering something that always existed, rather than having invented something new.
This book has a long history. It grew out of a stack sketches and drawing kept in a drawer, that help me remember, but was not much help for others. As my carvings grow more and more intricate, someone suggested I ought to write about them.
Out of this effort came my first attempt to write a book, including some of the progress-drawings still found in the present book. I found out that a book as special as this needed a larger market than the Danish. I gave up, until one day I discovered this in a book I bought earlier: Note to Authors: We are always looking for talented authors to write new books …
Note: There is also a German version of the book.