Art: Not About Square Bears
Masterful wood carvings
Photo by Jake Borden
“The pictures in my head are wildlife and human form,” says sculptor Ken Packie, who lives in Otis and grew up hiking in the woods. “I’m not trying to just carve an animal, but to tell a story.” A gift from a school to Ann Fitzpatrick Brown, owner of Blantyre in Lenox who died last year, was to create a sculpture out of a pine tree hit by a wind shear. Packie asked what she envisioned; Brown talked of eagles, beavers, a great horned owl.
During that week of carving, at times from 15-foot-high scaffolding, a guest asked incredulously, “How are you doing that with a chainsaw?” That visitor turned out to be renowned sculptor Penelope Jencks. “It’s that adrenalin rush of creating something fast,” he says of his self-taught mode of wood carving. “I start from the top and make my way down. All of the sudden you see the line and then—boom!” Up high is a nest with eggs, visible only from the resort’s tower—with binoculars.