Our neighbor, Larry Brown, visited us often while we worked in our garage creating The Great Sea Monster Cask; he liked popping in to see the progress and cheer us onward. We liked his visits. One day he saw me looking at the next blank cask end and asked, why not Wind in the Willows? I call myself Toad. We call our home Toad Hall. There are cartoons of my life as Toad; it was a natural.
With the large hole at the bottom, this cask end needs a different approach. The characters from Wind in the Willows will each be carved in three-quarter inch thick Linden and painted. Once they are ready, I will carve and exact spot for each and "sink" it directly into the cask end to a depth of about half an inch. Suitable scenery from the wild wood will be carved around them to glue the entire face of the cask together into a colorful singular homage.
These casks can last for a long long time if protected. It is a special feeling to be creating something like this that will, we hope, last into the far future. The early days of American woodcarvers are lost to us. Our goal is to not become lost but to create something that endures and causes people to wonder who we were and why we did these great projects.