Instructables
Picture of Natural elbow dreamcatcher
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It all started with Bacchus' calumet - a pipe I made as a gift for my best friends wedding.
They were more than pleased with the present, and less than one year later they gave birth to a great son.
They designed me to be his godfather...

Now let me be a guy who believes in the positive energy of wood and the value of gifts coming straith from the heart.
So I wanted to give my newborn friend a kind of something special to be his companion during his first years.

I thought about a custom Bowie-knife.
But a Bowie-knife above the cradle wouldn't probably have been a great idea...

So...

I decided to make something more peaceful.

I made a dreamcatcher.

Dreamcatchers are beautiful features designed to hang in children's sleeping place, at reach of sunset's rays.
In Native American cultures they're believed to capture bad dreams at night and be purified with the first sunrays of the new day.

You'll find thousands of dreamcatchers. All different in style, colour, pattern & size, but I'm quite sure there's only one like this ;)

Hope you like it!
 
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Step 1: Harvesting the natural elbow

Picture of Harvesting the natural elbow
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The concept of a dreamcatcher is rather simple: a hoop, a web within & some decorations.

You can make the hoop with whatever you want. Many people use willow or vine, but I decided to make the hoop from olive - the same type of wood as Bacchus' calumet. Too bad not from the same tree.

I planned to use one single natural wooden elbow - with 3 bows you make a circle.
Natural elbows are fascinating features on a tree. They mark the moment at which the tree decided to change direction.

Using just one single elbow to make a hoop is kind of spiritual. It symbolizes growing up, making decisions, learning & changing directions but never forgetting roots & basics'.

Or how a wooden hoop becomes a metaphor for life...

So the day my friends son was born I took free at work and instead of reparing stuff I spent the day in South France's outback to find the perfect elbow for my newborn friend.

If you want to know more about responsable elbow harvesting you can visit previous I'bles like 'natural elbow boomerang' and 'kuksa carving'.

Result of that spring day in may: I got a beautiful elbow...
smoak8 months ago
I like it but I have some points to make. The wood is generally made from a single or multiple branches, if the single isn't wide enough. However I like the way you made this one, but I think if it was a little less perfect in shape it could look better. There is a story/point behind the amount of points a dreamcatcher has. 13 being the most traditional representing the phases of the moon. 8, which you made here, representing the number of legs on the spider woman of native lore. 7, representing the prophecies of the grandfathers. 6, representing courage. And 5, representing a star. The feather is meant to hang from the center of the webbing but understandably, for aesthetic reasons, people tend to hang them from generally symmetrical locations, as you did. In my belief, being that of the passamaquoddy tribe, the dreamcatcher catches all dreams, the bad dreams clinging tight to the web while the good dreams move to the center and run down the string and off the feather into the child. Generally the feathers used were Owl meaning wisdom which was a womans feather and an Eagle feather meaning courage which was a mans feather. Of course, for obvious reasons, the feahers you used couldn't have been those since that's kind of illegal, but they were a good choice, we have to tend to use whatever feathers we can nowadays. All in all, even though the dreamcatcher has been greatly bastardized for commercial sale, I believe that it is the intent not the method or manner. I enjoyed seeing your work, and also enjoyed the lack of waste. Good job and nice 'ible.
bricobart (author)  smoak8 months ago

Thanx a lot for that interesting comment friend, I'll tell this to my little boy once he's a bit bigger. All the best to you.

ssenseney5 months ago
Hahah sweet! Thanks! Umm I'm not sure but I'll check it out! What was that stuff you put into the cooler to soak the wood?
bricobart (author)  ssenseney5 months ago

You mean water?!

girlshawn7 months ago

Lovely. I like how you looked at the grain of the wood.

toolala8 months ago
WOW!! This is an incredible piece of art. What a creative, caring and thoughtful gift you've created for one very lucky child. I am very happy that I found this project, it's quite spectacular. I'm not sure if I will attempt creating one yet. I'm in awe of your "raw" talent. I'm excited to look at what else you made. Peace
bricobart (author)  toolala8 months ago

Thanx toolala, this is one of the most heartwarming compliments I got in, let's say, the last twenty five million years ;) If you like this kind of projects I've got a simple small advice just off the record: watch out my next I'bles ;) Peace

love it! going to make one next weekend :)

ssenseney9 months ago
Would this be a good elbow?
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bricobart (author)  ssenseney9 months ago
Are you kidding? This is THE elbow!!! What type of wood is it?
firecrossbow11 months ago
What is the surf?
bricobart (author)  firecrossbow11 months ago
A JOKE! It's that wasmachine kinda stuff where the waves break on the shore ;)
rvt198511 months ago
Amazing job! I really admire your talent and think it's cool you found uses for the leftovers :)
bricobart (author)  rvt198511 months ago
Well that's a nice compliment, thanx rvt!!!