Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Items

Sometimes there are to many items that take up time from the hobbies and activities that you'd much rather be doing. Lately I have been taking a Project Management Class at the local Junior College. It has been a great class but I am happy to move on and do more hobbies such as skiing, fishing and woodworking!

Over the Easter weekend I made, or at least finished a few really cool things! First off I will mention the collage.I started a monthly challenge on Esty's Woodworkers as a fun way to force new ideas, designs and show off the talents of the many wonderful artist.

April's Challenge brought forth by TheHickoryTree was to build a collage. Extra scraps, a little sanding, some glue. Yeah I thought I could do this.

I started out with the idea of flowers and perhaps asters (daisy's) in mind. I started out with some extra scraps that I cut into somewhere equal in  thickness. Next I had to reevaluate how the wood was shaping up. I had some great manzanita, birds-eye-maple, and cherry stock. Well each time I tried to make my original plan, but it wasn't quite working. I decided to have a bite to eat and reference John Muir Laws The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada . I love Orchids but the intricacy of designing my favorite (Mountain Lady Slipper) just wasn't going to happen. Pansies and monkey flowers on the other hand are much easier. Plus who can go wrong with tulips or even better yet, California Poppies!

So in the end that is what I went with. A beautiful mixed collage of flowers!

Next I was asked to make a Votive Candle Holder out of Manzanita. I had made one for my little sister years ago. It was log style, cleaned to a sheen, then drilled for candles. Ok, this wouldn't be to bad. I made the base and was ready to drill holes. Not sure of the width due to the wide range of candle thickness.To see the final purchase see below!

So I decide to try something new, well almost. I was making thin strips for the collage out a piece adjacent to the item on the right. I decided to keep making cut until I had. made a nice equal square. Once I had the square established, I took dad's extra coaster's he had made, and placed them around the square stock.

 This branch here was actually covered over completely until I exposed the interior!

The contrast is great! 

One of my favorite items to make are Vases with large glass tubes that are visible. These pieces of natural wood are hard to come across. When I do find one I turn into a five year old who just found another Easter Egg! This piece came from an river canyon while fishing. Although the hike was only 1/4mile and I didn't catch anything (although Christine may have caught poison oak from me) I did find this great piece of wood!!

Lastly, I made this cool little vase a while ago, but I haven't displayed it until today. I made two of them at the same time. My little sister has the other one. She brought me homemade jam so I though a little flower vase would be an appropriate way to say thank you! The colors and shapes in the grain are awesome. Burl wood is the most amazing stuff!
I just placed these on the etsy website, hopefully they sell. If you know someone who'd like them send my name along. I am actually thinking of give away's for those who give me a few sales!!

Here are the small candle holder I made. I think they are great. Anna should get them today or tomorrow! I will post them with their final finish (photo's are on Christine's camera).

Friday, April 22, 2011

Etsy Woodworker's Mother's Day Sale

Please come and visit the Etsy Woodworker's Mother's Day Sale.
There is a large list of talented woodworkers willing to drop their price to make momma happy!


Etsy Woodworkers Mother's Day Sale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who can join?

Etsy Woodworkers has the following requirements:
We are interested in anyone who is interested in woodworking. From first time beginners to experts, we welcome new ideas and challenges. If you have a new challenge for us, make a note in the discussion and I am sure someone will come along to help!!

Etsy Woodworker's

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A New Toy

I have been wanting a new toy for quite a while now and I decided today was that day. I purchased a 28" bar for my chainsaw. I already run a 24" bar for my Husky and Stihl but wanted to make bigger and smoother cuts when I get into bigger wood. Plus I am a guy................. remember Tim Allen in Home Improvement, bigger is always better!!!!

So I purchased a 28" bar for the stihl. I have been wanting to use a bigger bar when I am wood cutting and doing specific tasks. This gives me another quick and ready option. And I wanted it!! A couple of weeks ago the forest became open to wood collecting. My father and I spent two days cutting up a giant oak. The second day we got into the big wood which we spent most of milling into boards with the Alaskan mill. A device used to mill lumber with a chainsaw. It makes a ton of saw dust yet way easier than haulilng massive trees to the lumber mill.

We ended up with eight 30"x 2" x 6 1/2' boards. Perfect for making a coffee table. I cut one section at 4" thick for legs. It is going to be a sweet coffee table!!! At least that's plan. The hardest part is knowing I have to wait over a year before it will be cured and ready to make into a beautiful table. To be honest that is the hardest part of wood working. At least for me. I collect some awesome item from the river, lake, ocean, forest. Do what is necessary to prep the wood for curing. Then the wait for the actual curing. It is amazing how many projects are placed on hold because the wood isn't ready. There are more pieces laying around waiting to be made than actually finished products. I tried to implement the 2.3 policy. If it hasn't become something in 2-3 years, winter time needs firewood. Hard to do when you labor hiking a piece of wood 4 miles out of a canyon. Although I still have a girlfriend, so it isn't out of hand yet.

Yeah I could go out and buy the wood, but the cost would be extreme!! The recent boards we cut, if they don't crack to bad, will be price around $300 retail. Not bad for a do it yourself gig. Although we still have to accommodate the price in gas, transportation, actual chainsaw(s), wood permit, storage (free, yet still have property taxes), electricity for the planner, table saw, sander and all the maintenance for the aforementioned. Yeah there are many costs but still slightly cheaper when it comes to your personal labor of love.

In reality the main reason we (outdoorsmany folks in general) do the things we do is because we want to be outside. Smell the tree's, hear the wind's, feel the soil's. To be honest, most of my unique wood items come from a fishing trip. I see something so cool that I want it. I throw it on the shoulder and I start hiking out. 2 miles with this crazy piece of wood on the shoulder leaves a sore shoulder. Yet in the long run you look at a finished form of beautiful functional art and it is the memories of the whole trip, the making of the item and the use it now serves that is the true beauty. Even pictures of my items still bring back those memories of adventure. The adventure is always as great as the destination!   

Monday, April 4, 2011

another beginning

Well, as about 90% of the folks out there realize, blogging is the new wave. For me it started simple emails. While I was living in Europe I received a cell phone and started texting, although it was called sms. Then came the myspace craze. Yeah it was cool and interesting and a great way for friends and family to see what I have been up to. Next was facebook. Another way to connect with hundreds of friends and family and has now prettty much taken over myspace. Now the latest wave of blogging.......................................

This is my first go and I'd imagine it will take a while for me to figure out how to go about setting up everything. My main goal at this time is to use this web space as a connection to my etsy account where I seel my artwork. I believe in time it wilbe very beneficial. But as I said it will take some time. Please be patient and check back in on occasion.

Lastly, I look forward to hearing from anyone and everyone.
Hope you enjoy,