Aby-a-Day – September 7: Wood you? (Miniature Monday)

Today’s miniature is a bit different from the ball-jointed dolls. I discovered a German woodcarver on Etsy, Eckart Henzler, who makes wonderful little hand-carved animals from different kinds of wood.

Among his creations, I found a beautiful cat carved from plum wood. The listing said that the cats were made to order, so I had to ask…“Could you carve one of these to possibly look a little like my Abyssinian, Jacoby? Here is a photo of him standing at a cat show…I love the colour of this wood!! It just matches Jake!”

Eckart wrote back, saying, “Yes, the color fits to your cat. Please tell me, what makes Jacoby so special, how does he differ from the cats I carve? Longer legs….?” and so I explained that Abyssinians, have longer legs and necks, a slightly longer tail, and bigger ears, adding that they’re often described as standing on tiptoe. I also sent a few photos of Jake and a link to my Flickr account. He said he’d give it a try, and the next thing I know…

He’s messaged me again with a photo of three wooden cats, along with this note: “I like your cat so much, I made three of them. Now you can choose, which one you prefer.”

I was so impressed! I chose the one in the middle – the tail looks so like Jake!


And here he is! I keep him in my bathroom, on a hand-carved maple leaf dish I got at ArtBeat.


The plumwood Jake is actually a decent size. It’s rather larger than you would think from looking at the photos on Etsy.


It feels nice when you hold it in your hand.


I have always loved wooden things. I think it comes from my dad taking me camping, and making me little “wood men” from sticks.


Like this little “Ghost of the Woods” my dad made for me when I was about six.

Björn also likes wooden things, and both he and I like the plumwood Jake so much that we had Eckart make us a bear and a cat for our (eventual) wedding cake, since “Björn” means “Bear” and “Koshka” means “Cat.”

The bear is carved from oak, and the cat is carved from maple, because Björn likes oak trees while I’m partial to maples (it’s a Canadian thing). My engagement ring has oak leaves on it, and we’re thinking the cake should have fondant leaves on it as decoration. And perhaps some real ones as well.

Since we have no idea when my residency permit will be approved, it’s a nice diversion for us to work on the wedding plans to keep our minds off the uncertainty. But the most amazing thing is…Björn got the package just as I was working on this post. Talk about timing!