June 27, 2014

State Prison Advice

Prison info. /Advice: I just finished a few more of my soap carvings and mailed them home the other day. A while ago I started on carving Stewy from the cartoon The Family Guy for my son, Taylor, but I broke it when I was almost finished (soap is very delicate and unforgiving, much different than carving something like wood). So I had to start all over and finish another Stewy for Taylor. After that I started carving a praying Jesus, lifting his arms up to God, I made that one for my grandmother and I’m sure that she’ll love it. I’ve always had a knack for art, I’m good with my hands, and it runs all throughout my mothers’ side of the family. With each piece I make I must say my skills are sharpening up well. The last carving I made for my father is probably my best one yet. I made him a fish on a mantel, just like you would see hanging on someone’s’ wall. This is the first time I used two pieces of soap for one carving. First I carved a small mouth bass and painted it, then I took another piece of soap and carved a mantel, painting it to look like wood, finally I glued the fish to the mantel and had another inmate put a lacquer finish on it to protect it and make it shine like a real fish that a taxidermist would place on a mantel. Many inmates, even staff have seen my work and complimented me in amazement, some not believing that it came from soap. Some people ask me how much I would charge them to carve something for them, but it just takes me so long to do the work that I prefer to send what I make to the people I love, unless of course it’s for someone like my friend, Kurt who I’m getting ready to make a lion for next. This is one of many things I choose to do with my spare time in prison. Having a hobby or doing something else that’s more productive than watching television is important. If you are on your way to prison, or have a loved one on their way, I would suggest thinking of something that you can do to improve your life and future while inside, then I would think of things to do while you’re not working on yourself and future. Remember, all we have in here is time. When will you have another chance to catch up on things that you never had time to do in the real world?

Steven Dybvad

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