A Tribute to a Mentor Who Has Changed the Lives of Many
Ten years ago I met Lew Jensen at a home improvement show in the South Towne Exposition Center in Sandy, Utah.
Profitable Hobbies’s Tamaree Littlefield and Lew were offering demonstrations of a fascinating tool which could carve any material that occurred to our imagination. Lew shared his story with me of how this tool, the Paragraver Power Pen came to be. He started carving eggshells nearly forty years ago and from that beginning a movement began. After listening to his story and trying the tool on a number of materials I decided to enter the world of high speed art creation. The odd part of this story is that I had no desire to carve eggshells. There were other materials that drew my attention such as gourds and gunstocks. It wasn’t until two years later that I put burr to egg. One Saturday evening I wanted to do something creative but did not want to start a big project. I saw the one goose egg I purchased with my kit from Profitable Hobbies sitting on the shelf covered in accumulated dust and thought “what the heck, I will put a few holes in this to see what it is like.” I free hand carved some round holes in that egg and that one egg changed my life.
That very next week I went to Profitable Hobbies to show them what I had carved and to get some more eggs. I loved the challenge and the effect of seeing this most fragile object become beautiful and more delicate. I began researching egg art around the world and have found all cultures I have looked into thus far have significance attached to the egg form. Quickly I decided that I liked creating geometric lattice forms which looked impossible to remain intact. In truth they are surprisingly strong.
From this, I branched out to carve eggs as small as parakeet up to ostrich. Three years after my first egg was carved (2010) I was asked to offer an exhibition for Easter at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center. From that event came an invitation to exhibit in the National Museum of Bulgaria. Many other noteworthy opportunities to show my artistic creations came from that first experience with an art form I did not want to initially participate in.
Easter time is important to Lew Jensen because that is when he carved his first egg so many years ago. As Easter is approaching quickly on this 10 year mark for my interactions with Lew, I feel it important to offer my gratitude to him and the staff at Profitable Hobbies. Without their support and encouragement I would never have walked the amazing path my life now follows. Lew has changed the lives of innumerable people with his creativity and support. I know he will leave a legacy which will never be forgotten.
To close this tribute to a man whose influence is world reaching, I dedicate this new egg which pushes my skills to a new level and I pray will inspire others to give this most delicate art from a try.
Lew Jensen, in gratitude immeasurable for all you do to change this world in a positive way.