The guiding word was “slim”. And because the softer wood on the outside had to go it got even slimmer. Plus, it has this wonderful twist in it. Very dynamic.
I didn’t use the hatchet other than to get rid of the bark. I went on with knife and hammer, playing around with the light wood for a while, knowing it could do no harm because I was not touching the core that would remain in the end. Then I took the light stuff off completely to see what is what: discovering and revealing the piece for the second time. The slimmer core of the stem has different proportions and that changes a lot.
Then came the idea of the holes. The trick is to work out the surfaces and their movements first and then to go in. Had to be quick again to avoid cracks. That was even more crucial this time, with this kind of form. The breakthroughs, even though tedious to do, felt good. Each of them!
What is astonishing is, that a coherent form can come out of such an intuitive process of working on different parts of the piece. I only looked at the whole thing, when those different movements were pretty clear already. And it made sense! Putting it upright and walking around it had a definite WOW effect.
Five days again until putting it aside to let it dry.