I think that after the elaborate piece that was the Magician, I needed to go in the complete opposite direction and do something super-simple. And so I present the Four of Cups. Nothing especially complicated, just an old wooden cutting board colored with secondhand chestnut wood stain, and a quartet of deer rib bones that I found in the woods years ago. Most of my time was spent waiting for the stain to dry; since it was a bit older and thicker it took longer to stop being tacky and leave stains all over my fingertips.
But I still love it. I absolutely adore old wood cutting boards for this project. All the cuts and slices and gouges in the wood are more pronounced when I add stain, as though much of my work has been done for my by an anonymous cook years before. And with this piece I wanted that wear and tear to show through. The white bones accentuate it even more, though they have their own wear marks and stains.
I really love the symbolism of this card. I’m an introvert, and I consider it my “hey, I need some ME time, dammit!” card. Sure, in the original RWS deck the guy sitting and contemplating things might look like he’s missing out on getting a fourth cup. But I figure he’s thinking to himself “For the love of God would you stop thrusting chalices at me, you damned disembodied mitt? Go wave a sword at the next guy who’s about to get a great real estate deal and let me get some peace and quiet already!” So I tend to see this card, upright, as a positive thing, and only when it’s reversed do I start worrying that maybe I need to get outside a bit more.