From the Country Mayo in the West of Ireland, there lives a woman in love with the mesmerizing nature. A ripple of calming and solitudinous waves run through her body when she goes out to explore forests, the bog and beaches. Her artistic journey led to supreme manifestations that were not planned, but were rather a result of intuition, instinct and experiment.
This is the story of Jan Campbell, who adores carving and feels that it's a necessary mode of communication. She designs exquisite little stone face carvings from Avocados and gives them name that are classical and time-honored. Her little dears are bringing fairies and wee folk to light. Her inspiration might be whispered in your ear through these carvings, and you may feel the sense of solace as she walks throughout the woods by these magical things.
Art is always beyond materialism and it comes out from the core of the heart, which is why Campbell feels connected to the earlier human inhabitants of the earth as she practices this ancient art form of carving. To have a great deal of affection toward the earliest of creations by humans, and the original introduction of art forms indicates her passion for education as well as the excitement to elicit such learnings. She has not taken any formal training in carving, which makes her feel grateful as it allows the process to feel entirely personal.
She carves the tranquil faces of forest spirits, the flowing hair of ancient goddesses, and wild mushrooms now and then. The miniatures are presented as statues, or worn as pendants, and are meant to bestow the holder with a sense of togetherness and comfort.
Sharing the story about how she started carving Avocado stones, Campbell writes “I was making my lunch and opened a perfectly ripe avocado as a special treat. It struck me that the stone I found inside the avocado was a particularly beautiful one. After deliberating over it for a few minutes, I wiped the stone clean and put it into the pocket of my raincoat. A few days later I cycled into the countryside in light rain."
"When I sat down for a rest, my hands went to my pockets and I found the avocado stone sitting inside. I held it in my palm and studied it very closely. I felt a funny connection to it as my fingers explored the tree-shaped network of veins on the surface. I wondered what I could do with it, and impulsively settled on the decision that I would keep it forever, like a secret pet who reassures me from my pocket.”
“The avocado stone accompanied me for a week or two until I took it out one day and saw that the surface had been scratched, perhaps by my keys. I was intrigued by what I saw - a deep orange pigment had filled the scratch. I felt overwhelmingly compelled to explore further."
"Maybe my reassuring pocket pet was actually inside the stone, waiting patiently for me to dig him out. I gathered a random assortment of craft tools and set to work, carving the surface very slowly and carefully, studying the effect of every action I took on the stone. I couldn't believe how satisfying an activity it was - how had I never discovered this enjoyment before? I was hooked and I went straight to the supermarket to buy more avocados.”
Eventually, she decided to make an Instagram account (AvocadoStoneFaces) devoted entirely to her new hobby, where she could essentially keep a photo diary of her carving progress. She also sells silver & bronze castings of her avocado stone carvings at her website www.avocadostonefaces.com.