Marciel is married to a truck driver, and with him being gone from home on long stretches of time, she filled her time with an aerobics class taught at the Oxford Civic Center. Also, her elderly mother, who is now deceased, moved into her home. Still, Marciel needed more to do – something creative.
Again, she learned through the Oxford Civic Center that a wood carving class was being offered. She decided to take it and fell in love with her new hobby. Wood carving became her passion.
Nowadays, in her house are shelves stacked filled with wood carvings. She has carved everything from Santa Claus, angels, people and animals. She keeps most of her carvings, such as the moose she made for her husband and the replicas of her grandchildren, in a tall, lighted cabinet. She shows off each and tells a story about why she carved them, which almost gives each one a life of its own.
Her most favorite one sits at the peak of the cabinet. Here is its story: Years ago, while going through some of her mother’s things, she found an old picture of herself held by her father as he boarded a bus leaving for the military. He died after he left, fighting in World War II. Since Marceil had no memory of her father, only letters that he’d sent while away, she carved a replica of the photograph, which sits near the carving as a tribute to him.
In 2010, Marceil hurt her back and wasn’t able to carve for a year. All she had was hope and prayer. When she was able to carve again, she began making angel pins and gave them to people who were sick so they would have the same hope that she had found.
Marceil has no intention of charging people for her wood carvings.
“If I ever got paid for it,” she said, “I wouldn’t like it anymore.”
Also, she describes how she turns the mistakes she makes while carving a piece into something positive.
“Sometimes, I’ll accidentally chip off a piece. I will redesign it a little, and, usually, it’s better than I planned. I know the lord is guiding my hand. So, when I make a mistake I just figure he wants that to be a little different.”
Frederick Forbes is a Jacksonville State University student and freelance writer.