With the strong conviction that everything around us can be turned into art, Àngel Soler gathers several types of wood, mainly boxwood but also walnut, chestnut, poplar and elder wood, and sculpts artistic pieces that make an impression on all who see them. El Pasteral, the neighbourhood next to La Cellera de Ter where Àngel has lived for some 50 years, serves as a great source of inspiration for him due to its exceptionally calm and natural surroundings.
His passion for woodcarving comes from the years he spent working as a shepherd, which began when he was just sixteen. Whenever he got bored of looking after the goats and sheep, he started shaping branches and logs to create everyday objects, such as the walking stick we see in the image.
Although he has produced a huge amount of art, Àngel has never considered selling his sculptures; rather, he prefers to give them to his loved ones as presents. Many now also decorate various chapels or even the Monastery in Amer.
1. Donkey. A wonderful representation of one of Catalonia’s symbols, this sculpture attracts both children and adults, who usually want a photograph alongside it.
2. Clock. A fundamental item of his work, he makes all sorts. The numbers are made from various materials like animal bones. This clock not only shows the official time but is also a sundial.
3. Genealogical tree (literally!). Àngel took advantage of a nice trunk he found to graphically represent the members of his family.
4. Shotgun. This weapon is only a copy and even though it looks very real, it is totally harmless!
5. Shoe. Not even the biggest foot in the world would fit inside this one!
6. Tools. Three essential tools are needed to get the right results: a gouge, a chisel and a rasp.
7. Pipe. Although he’s never been a smoker, Àngel uses heather wood – in keeping with tradition – or boxwood to fashion them.for of the Romanesque Majesty of Beget, which may well be his masterpiece, now adorning the Chapel of Sant Just and Sant Pastor in La Cellera.
9. Pocket watch, another timepiece from his vast collection!
10. Chain. According to Àngel, this is probably the most complicated piece to make and needs to be fashioned using boxwood because of its resistance. What’s more, most of the chains are fashioned from only one piece!
11. Walking stick. The oldest and most precious of his works, it has a high sentimental value and he would never part with it.
12. Abstract sculpture. This beautiful piece shows us that realism is not the only artistic style. Also, Àngel says he respects what the piece of wood itself wants to be, rather than what he would like to turn it into.
13. Àngel’s studio, with the craftsman hard at work on a new creation.
- Catalonia Today 14-01-2018 Pàgina 22