365 days of peace: a resilient peace

KIMG0541It’s been 4 weeks of peace signs. 28 days. Today I used cedar. Shocking I know. This is more left over 1/4″ toungue and groove closet liner.  I drew on to the wood in pen, outlined the ink with a razor blade, and then chiseled out barely 1/32″ of material.   I doused it in mineral spirits and set it on fire. (Outside with a fire extinguisher near by) I sanded it a bunch, cut the circle out with the scroll saw. Set it on fire again and painted the outline black. It’s been through a lot. It has knots, gashes, chips and scars. But it survives. Being peaceful sometimes means  absorbing violence without reflecting it back. That can do damage. But it can also build strength.  28 down 337 more to go.

Tactile Interactive Abstract Art

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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

365 days of peace: peace starts at home

day7today is day 7. I have been doing this for a week. A week of peace. Today I am working with oak barrel staves and metal barrel bands. I have several stave slices so this may be something I try again. The metal is thin enough to drill through but it still ate a drill bit. I minimally sanded the staves and applied a light coat of mineral spirits and lemon oil to the oak,

The Furniture Remix Project

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 BenKIMG0054nington 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 IKIMG0039 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!

Frames, Benches and July

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a small sample of my new frame collection

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new mosaic, i swear in person it seems more square than rectangle but the photo is definitely making me question that

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you can never be too careful!

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. 

Rough Cut Pine Stars and other Shapes

IMG_20160419_193013I had a long piece of 3/4 inch thick rough cut pine sitting around. It was in good shape with  some wear to it, and a few nail and screw holes.  It  had been used as a wall board in a previous life and I wanted to make a pair of 3d stars with it. Before cutting I inspected it, pine is very knotty and I have found that the knots don’t work out so well when making stars.  I cut it down into 5 12″x 10″  rectangles . I inspected them again and picked the 4 best rectangles and drew my star shape on each piece. I used a compass to draw a circle on the fifth piece. I cut each piece carefully on the scroll saw. I also cut out my circle. I will use the circle as the base to a pedestal table at some point in the future.  I took a piece of 80 grit sand paper and sanded each star smooth. I will continue to sand to 220 grit, then I will apply a spray lacquer and attach two stars together to create a 3 d effect. For wall mount stars I will join the two stars with screws and add razor hangers to mount the star. For hanging stars I will use screws to attach the stars but I will use dowels  to hide the drill holes and  fishing line to hang the star. Continue reading

Cabinets and Table Tops

IMG_20160419_192746It’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