In December I was asked to make a small work of art that used scrap materials and could be explored visually and through touch. I had been thinking about incorporating shapes with different thicknesses to give more texture and depth to the mosaic wall pieces and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to experiment and make something different. Most of the mosaics I make give the illusion of depth visually, but intentionally adding a third dimension that would have to function as a visual element and be interactive was daunting. I had a few days to come up with ideas and a week to ship it. My original concept was to take a bunch of shapes arrange them into a mess and cut that mess into a circle. I played around with patterns. Maybe I should make a tree? that would be cool. I decided that I was only going to use triangles. a tree triangle, not exactly breaking new ground but it would be something. Continue reading
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!
It’s officially May and my cabinet does not have doors, so now it is a deep shelf storage unit with a mosaic top. I have trim that I will nail to the face and the sides and post to etsy. I was going to do some outline painting inside the cabinet, but I might not. I am working with a new type of paint and I don’t think the paint I have now is compatible with the new stuff. Looking for inspiration we hit the streets of downtown Bennington on Friday and wandered into Jays cards and gifts on Main street in Bennington VT. They were celebrating 44 years in business with a sale, 50% off all items. They reach a milestone and we get the gift! They sell a water based spray paint made by Montana colors that is used in mural work and graffiti, it comes in tiny 100 ml spray cans and it is amazing. I sprayed two of my stars yellow and two of them red and they look great! I probably could have gotten away with one coat but I missed a small spot on an edge that would have driven me crazy. I am going to use the traditional glue and screw attachment method put on some razor hangers and voila one more project completed. It is not due until July but I need to start making mock ups soon.
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
January was a bit of a drag but February was a busy month and March is almost over. F.A.W.M monopolized most of my February creative time but I worked in the shop too. I cut out some small snowflakes, peace signs, and stars.I tried to rearrange parts of my workshop, unfortunately with limited success. I had an ETSY special order for a wall hanging, well it would have to stand on an easel not a wall hanging, but you know what I mean. It was suppose to be Celtic inspired and use more natural wood and little to no painted scraps. I wanted to post pictures of the order but it was a birthday present for a person who follows my shop. I did not want to risk posting about it and having the recipient see. I experimented with shapes on the special order and I think I am going to mix up my pattern execution and be less rigid in terms of shape structure. I am making some progress sanding my shutters down to get the flaking latex paint off the oil paint. Once that is done I will put a clear coat on them prevent the rest of the paint from flaking. That should be the end of the prep work, I am very excited to move on to the construction phase of the shutter shelf project. That’s it for now, and if you can correctly guess the origin of the tittle of this post you get 10% off your next purchase in my etsy store!
Happy New Year! I am not the type to make New Years resolutions but I do hope to have at least doubled the contents of my Etsy store by January of 2017. I also want to be in at least one shop and do a couple more shows in 2016 than I did in 2015. I guess the most important goal is to learn lots of new woodworking techniques and have fun doing it. Continue reading
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.
It’s been an up and down all over the place year. I have been focused on a lot of non wood working things, but not anymore. This summer I have committed to double the time I spend in the shop, join the local arts guild, do more and better shows, and start taking credit cards. I am doing 50/90 again too. I am working on a ton of new and old projects and getting ready for some local shows this fall. I have an etsy store now too.
I had to redo the legs to the table I assembled yesterday. Even though it could hold the weight of two cats and is designed as a hall table, I decided to change the design in the hopes of giving it more stability. The legs for my very first-ever- table were made from a 4×4 cedar post. I used lag screws to attach the top. I left the screws visible and incorporated them into the design of the table. On the next table I used 1×2′s as legs and used a forstner bit to drill holes in the center of each leg. Then I inserted dowels in each post. I also placed dowels in the apron. The hard part for this design is making sure every dowel is lined up exactly. It makes for a very strong table. I have used this design with a few modifications for almost every table since. For the table I assembled yesterday I simply screwed the legs into the apron, hoping that the dowel connecting the short sides would support the load and provide stability. It did not work as well as I hoped, so I unscrewed the legs and drilled a 3/8″ hole in each leg. Then I dabbed the dowel with small amount of glue and lined it up to bottom of the table top. I used the glue mark as a guide to drill a hole in the top. I re-enforced the dowels with screws. There is still a wee bit of wiggle but it is much more stable and now I won’t be embarrassed to sign it. I also glued on two pieces of trim to the long edge of the table. I don’t have wire nails so I will have to wait until I pick some up before attaching the short side trim. I would just glue them but the distance is a smidge bigger than my biggest clamp. All that’s left to do is nail the trim, paint the trim, and apply a clear coat.