The elm sculpture in Vermont

One day when I was living in Vermont I remember driving through Putney on my way to Brattleboro. As I drove down the Putney Road I passed a crew taking down a very large Elm tree. I was carving wood in those days and that looked very interesting.

I flipped around, approached the foreman and asked if I could have a section of the stem. He said, “Sure. How big?” This was a beautiful straight tree and I said, “How about an 8 foot section.”  He mentioned that he could cut it but it would have some serious weight to it so how was I going to move it. I told him to leave it by the side of the road and I would get it out of there as soon as I could make a phone call and return.

A friend of mine was a logger and we drove his logging truck with the crane and rigging down the next day to pick it up. When we got back to Chester we placed it horizontally on a couple of supports to keep it off the ground.

A piece of elm to be carved

The elm tree in position to be worked on.. someday.

I didn’t have the vaguest idea of what I was gong to put in it but I had a chance to look at it every day when I came out of my house.

I must have been there over a year untouched. At least it was getting a chance to dry out.

One day a friend of mine who was very pregnant came over to visit and when she left I almost said it out .  “That’s it!.. A pregnant woman,

Shortly after I began carving the piece. It was a good summer project and I love working outside.

The large elm roughed out.

The piece is well roughed out but far from finished.

I wasn’t able to finish it then because the snows came and in Vermont the snow can be serious. I began again in the spring after “mud season”. When it was done the question was what was I going to do with it. In the end I decided to keep it and I had someone with a backhoe come over .

The backhpe moved the piece to the high meadow.

We moved the "Pregnant Woman" to the high meadow

We moved it up to the high meadow where it could be seen from my kitchen window and where I could drive my tractor around and around it when I cut the high grass in the fields.

When I sold that place and moved to Virginia I left the piece there as it was too big to move.  It may have rotted by now… or she could still be watching over the farm.

Finished piece in position

Right after we placed her. Later the grass came up and she blended right into the meadow.



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