I have been working on this piece for a little while. It’s barn board and assorted scrap wood.
It’s been a crazy summer. I am participating in the 50 song in 90 day challenge. as of this moment I have a meager 14 songs, I am super busy, I knew that it would be tough to juggle everything, and I have 30 days to catch up, Jess and I went to Clayton, NY for a wedding (Congrats again to David and Lara you’re both awesome.) The Southern Vermont Garlic and Herb Festival starts tomorrow and I will be setting up my space in a few hours. Am I ready? Absolutely not. Will I be? Absolutely. Today is also My dad’s birthday and Slade’s Birthday. Happy Birthday guys and thanks for dedicating time on your birthday/birthday weekend to help me set up and sell my stuff. My mom is leaving work early to help organize my merchandise. Jess is in the living room turning business cards into magnets and I am working on trivets and hoping to get one more table in before Saturday. Which looks less and less likely as the hours tick by but I am still stubbornly optimistic. Which is disturbingly out of character. The silo that Jess and I lived in was directly across the street from the garlic festival grounds. I have to admit that the prospect of standing there for 8 hours staring at the hole in the skyline where the silo use to be is not very appealing. My mother, ever the planer has looked at the map and, has informed me that there will be a bounce house in the way but I think the silo was taller than a bounce house. In non garlic fest news. Jess won’t let me use the washing machine to spin projects for spin art painting, I can’t imagine why. . . but I have come up with a plan to use a broken record player instead. It beats using a coarse thread screw and a wood block. I found a cool power pole in the woods by the hospital this week. I want it. It’s been cut up a bit already but it’s still too big to drag out of the woods, but with a chain saw, a drill, an ax, and a reciprocating saw I could cut it into more manageable pieces. I know poles like this are coated in creosote so that might be an issue. Anything else? Etsy shop will be fully stocked again soon. Have a fun and safe labor day and if your anywhere near Southern Vermont this Labor Day weekend check out Garlic fest.
What a crazy summer. I can’t believe in a few hours it will be August. I have a lot to do this month. I am the August artist of the month for the Bennington Arts Guild. I should be set up but I am not. I will go in and do that on Tuesday. If your in the Bennington area Friday, August 5, 2016 stop the Guild from 5-7 for my artist reception. We are a month away from the Southern Vermont Garlic Festival. I have a lot of work to do. I have been playing with the barn board. I managed to make a cool table. The picture sucks but it looks cool in person. I have been experimenting with different edge techniques. I tried to use roofing nails. It was an interesting idea that took way too much effort and would require hundreds of nails. Sure It did not work out so well, but I am going to try to use really thin sheet metal as an edge cover instead. When I use pine sometimes the finish is absorbed unevenly or sap leaks and you need to cover that or it looks unprofessional. Speaking of unprofessional i have decided that I will name my pieces instead of numbering them. I am lazy so I will be naming them after songs I have written so I don’t actually have to come up with new tittles. Like i have a crazy red and black splotched thing with lots of holes and a few burn marks, it’s called “consequences have consequences” which happens to be a song I wrote a few weeks ago for 50/90. I am calling this scrap wood enterprise “The Furniture Remix Project” because I am using lots of different pieces of furniture and what I do is a kind of tactile remix. It’s giving a new identity to old pieces of wood. it’s a fresh perspective on old and damaged pieces. Onward!
So? It’s July which means I have a ton of work to do. I am the Featured Artist for the Bennington Arts Guild for August, and I have to get some major projects finished so I have a nice full booth for Garlic Fest, I also have some small events to prepare for so the last thing I should be doing is writing a blog post but what the heck. I have some cool new pieces I am working on. I got 5 boxes of frame corners from a closing frame shop. This morning Jess walked down to our local bakery to get breakfast and Jen, the proprietor asked if I would be into some benches, so I walked down this evening to check them up. They were in the basement which is cool, since I like to go into closed off places. They come from a meeting house in Wilmington, Vermont, they are leather and wood and they still have the seat number medallions. In a word they are awesome. I hope I can do them justice and everybody who passes through Bennington should visit the Bakkerij Krijnen. Not only do they have awesome food but they are super nice too! What else? the 50/90 challenge starts in a few hours. I want to participate but I have so much work to do in the workshop. which means I will probably write 90 songs in 90 days as I do like to constructively procrastinate. Not exactly. I will write a few songs just because it’s fun and it’s a good exercise in creativity which helps my wood working too, or at least that is the story I am telling myself.
This week I have been looking for craft shows to sign up for and working on ornament ideas. I cut this primitive nativity scene out of a piece of scrap wood I found. I am not sure what kind it is? It’s the same piece that I made the tree and the maple leaf with. It might be lace wood? Or a species of mahogany? I like it and wish I had more. I find primitive ornaments are a great use for scrap wood. Much of the scrap is already distressed so it really is a great fit. Not all of my scrap wood is distressed of course and I can make ornate pieces work too. That’s one of the many great things about working with wood, it cleans up well. all it takes is some sand paper, elbow grease lemon oil and time. I am also working on My Garlic Festival Application while making and perfecting a garlic ornament. The Southern Vermont Garlic and Herb Festival. It’s a two day event that takes place over labor day weekend each year In Bennington,VT . It is primarily a celebration of garlic and food but there are lots of cool crafts for sale too.It’s a big event and it would be great if I could get in. Reading the application I learned that even craft vendors have to have something garlic themed in their display. That makes sense but I have been thinking about what I could make to celebrate garlic? Originally I was going to make a box to be used as a garlic keeper but that would use a lot of wood. I want to make something that less complicated. I am working on a garlic trivet. It will have a garlic shape in the center and I will use the same shape to make a garlic ornament. I had been having trouble drawing garlic but I have improved and will unveil my garlic trivet and ornament sometime over the next 3 weeks! Do you know of an interesting craft show, festival, flea market or event In New England or New York? Pass on the details in the comments or on my facebook page.
I did a finish coat on the stars that I am making and the water based spray paint is working well with the lacquer, at least so far. I will do one more lacquer coat and it will be time to assemble them. So far I have made 4 of these stars and I really like them. The first pair were a gift and I used stain and lacquer. I had every intention of keeping this pair natural but I really wanted to play with my new paint and since I do a lot of work with red and yellow I figured why not. I cut out ornaments this week too. I am playing with a new Christmas tree design and using negative space to work on a maple leaf ornament. Ideally using negative space wastes less wood as you have the ornament which has the shape cut out, and you have the shape which you can use as an ornament or as inlay in something else. I messed up the shape when I cut it but a maple leaf is one of those things that looks far easier to make than it is. A natural leaf has symmetry but there are little imperfections that are really hard to duplicate, so hopefully these will get better as I work on them. I am not sure what type of wood this is? I actually found it and there is some water damage. It is definitely craft wood as it is so thin. it’s a mystery. I also cut out a pumpkin puzzle and laid out a Menorah puzzle I have been thinking about. I made a small Menorah candle stand a few years ago and I really liked it, I attempted a Menorah puzzle too but the pieces were too narrow and I really wanted to use Olive Wood. I still don’t have Olive Wood in fact I think I am using some rough cut pine that I had in the shop, but I did make the base a bit wider and hopefully there is more support. Wish me luck.
It’s Spring! Time to get outside and shake off the winter. Telephone poles are plastered with tag sale signs and the outdoor flea markets are slowly returning. We were lucky this year it never got too cold and we had below average snowfall but I know I still had a bout of cabin fever and I am happy for the warmer weather. The table top/wall art I started from the futon is glued and ready to sand. Continue reading
I made another plane. I used poplar for the body and walnut for the tail. The wings are made from a mystery wood. I changed the design a little bit from the first one. On my first plane the wings were glued to the bottom of the plane . For the new plane I attached the top and bottom of the plane’s body to the wings. It gives it a slightly more compact appearance, and a stronger bond. I wanted to,keep the wood as natural,as possible so I left the wood raw, no stain or paint. I sanded it from 40 to 400 grit sandpaper and finally finished it with butcher block oil. I really like the way this one turned out and I have already started making the next plane. Jess wants me to make a triplane, like the red baron made famous. For now, I will stick to the bi plane but I definitely will experiment with other designs. Clamping a biplane is a challenge, I can’t imagine the logistics of clamping triplane. Actually most of my plane ideas require a similar clamping process which is different than clamping other projects. The most effective and efficient clamp for projects that are not a uniform shape is a rubber band. Rubber bands apply pressure where you need it and are very accurate but they can do damage if you are not careful, in fact I accidently launched a piece of the tail the first time I attached the rubber band. Lucily no damage was done to the plane or anything else.
I am almost finished with the coffee table top. I hope to glue it up Friday, and attach the top sometime this weekend. This mosaic is more colorful than others I have made. Most of my painted scrap wood is white, black, red and occasionally blue. I had some yellow and orange pieces that I have been saving for the right project, since the base I am using is yellow I thought this was the right table for the yellow and orange scraps. To attach the top I will have to reinforce and tighten the legs and add extra supports. It looks like yellow was not the original color, it may have been green. Before I add the top I may do a little sanding and expose some of the green, giving it a distressed look. I think it wood look cool. What else am I up to? I put another wall hanging on etsy. It’s made from pallet wood, cutting board cull and barn board. I painted another peace sign, the new one is orange and blue. I hope to put that up once the paint dries. I finished painting the airplane puzzle and frame. This one is a prototype, I painted the frame with enamel paint which would be unsafe for kids. If I decide to sell it I would sell it as a decorative item only. Most likely I will keep it to use as a template for other plane puzzles. When I make new puzzles I will leave them natural and apply a food safe oil or paint using non toxic kid friendly paint.
Crazy weather we have been having it’s 70 one day and 30 the next. It did snow last week and it feels like it could happen again today so it seems a good time to make winter products. I have been working on snowman puzzles in preparation for the season. The first one I cut was okay. I did not like him that much, his arms seemed to short for me and I simulated his face with small drill holes. I think it was suppose to give a button like effect. I made another snowman, cut this one a bit bigger and this time I used a sharpie for his face. I like his look better. The big guy was cut from an old shelf that had been painted white. I will do at least one more coat of white on him, and I plan to paint his hat black. The little guy is made from walnut and I am going to sand him and use a water based stain to finish him.
I have also been working on plane puzzles, I have cut two so far. I thought it would be simple, they are small and most of the pieces only have one connector to cut. When I cut the first plane It was too loose, so if you picked up the puzzle it would fall apart, the second puzzle is tighter but I have decided that the plane puzzles really need a frame. So I made a frame for the second puzzle, painted it red and painted the plane orange and yellow. Seems to be a color scheme I like at the moment. I am glad I tried the plane puzzle, it’s good to try new things, it’s the only way to really learn.