Wood carving could change your life

Maggie Schmuhl carves her wood art.

OSWEGO, N.Y. – Imagine, you’re sitting at a table smoothly carving away at wood with a chisel. All your stress is gone, your only focus is your craft.

This is what wood carving does for many. It may not be a common stress relief activity. However, the Art Association of Oswego is working to change this with their workshop. Low Relief Wood Carving consists of three, two hour-sessions. Each session, students have the chance to create their own wood art.

The workshop teaches proper tool use, tool safety along with wood carving techniques, Instructor John Pupparo said.

Pupparo has been carving wood for 40 years and he has always enjoyed craftsmanship. Wood carving’s hands-on approach offers the chance to be a creator.

“The human aspect of staying in control. We tend to think that having a skill is only appropriate in making money. But no, I think having a skill is appropriate in all endeavors of life,” Pupparo said.

Many don’t have time to learn a skill due to work or school. Wood carving allows people to step out of their world and create something they can cherish.

The workshop is open to the public. Even Oswego’s own professors are seizing this opportunity. Oswego State University’s Professor Maggie Schmuhl said the workshop has given her the chance to wind-down and focus on self-care.

“The Art Association offers lots of really incredible courses, and I’ve taken one here before and each time, feels like a breath of fresh air. You get to step out of your world for a moment,” Schmuhl said.

A breath of fresh air is what many people are in need of. Wood carving could be what turns one’s life around for the best.