O’Dell Toi – Cussies

Club Night: 22 May 2024
Report by Graeme Mackay

The Demonstrator provided the Ideal story theme: Odell’s cousins and family. An entertaining lead into the demonstration. The story of each individual providing the substance for the project and development of an art piece for the family and its extensions.

Each individual story was carried by a type of Owl I.E. Barn Owl.
Each bird will depict a specific person or family member and their perceived main activities. All individual birds represent a person’s strongest features.

Key questions raised were.
“What do your cousins do.”
“What is their primary and visible activity.”
“What type of carving to show this activity.”
The types, sizes and shapes of the owl define the story.

The many uses: discussion moved to how things, items and common material can be used to assist the construction and fitting process. Odell’s magic box bought out a whole range of very common items that can be used in other ways i.e., painting pyramids to hold things up. Old paint loads for use as a backdrop and used as mini containers. Lighters to make limited and restricted heat sources. Lighters to use for burning and sealing ends of lashings, necklaces, and jewelry fittings. More came out of the special box; lamps using USB chargers.

Then various jigs came out. All had specialty uses that can be made into additional applications. An interesting reminder that old chisels can be reused and reshaped to bring a range of embellishments and patterns to an object or project.

Special “Owl” demonstration: The special demonstration project was directed towards the story of a well-known person and their strong and invisible features. Further, the project Owl was designed for a specific competition. Odell outlined the story that directed the carving and explained about the project process produced a continuous flow of spirit and awareness. All within the watchful eye of the specified Owl.

All the key features of the person were viewed with a discussion about their carving embellishments and adaptations. There was a range of considerations such as planning the individual colours used. Each colour covered part of the story. The direction of each individual colour or set produced a different change in the embellishment provided for each section.

Amongst this process came practical examples and ways of getting a project going. All very simple. A useful example was keeping the paint and/or embellishment material from the same brand. Avoid unnecessary conflicts.

All the pieces: ODell emphasised the planning and working out the structural and strengths requirements of the individual parts and overall. Specialist fittings have to be checked. Thought needs to be given to the construction process. What parts need strengthening? What is the size of embellishments and specialist fittings?

All part of a story’s progress and process.
Considering design features to identify the target story’s positive features.
All are part of the process.
All coming down to design.


On the 29 May 2024 O’Dell presented Dick Veitch with the Owl that had been developed as a proof of concept of the Cussies theme.