Thursday, December 31, 2009
I wish all of you a Happy and Blessed New Year. Let's hope that 2010 will be a better year than 2009 was.
Just like the snowy wood spirit, let's all keep smilin'.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
If you enjoy works of art created from wood, you are sure to enjoy the works of Brad Sells. If you have never seen his work you are in for a treat. Go to http://www.bradsells.com/. Make sure you click on “Media” to see the artist in action with his tools.
Brad is a wood sculptor from Tennessee. Like me, Brad believes in the spirituality of wood and the curious co-relationship between humans and trees. I saw his 30 minute show called Tree Safari – A Sculptural Journey, on PBS, and bought the video. (see: http://www.pbs.org/treesafari/) I was totally mesmerized. The video is about his trip to South Africa to find the rare pink ivory wood. But more than that, it talks about the spiritual nature of trees.
His magnificent work can inspire, but also intimidate a simple, hobby wood carver like myself.
What do you think of Brad’s work?
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I had a chance to visit David’s workshop as part of a local artisans’ “open studio” tour last weekend. He is noted for carving very realistic snakes that are twined around the walking stick. He starts out with a relatively large diameter log and carves it down to the normal walking stick diameter with the snake around it…a lot of work, but the result is certainly unique. His snakes and other creatures are very realistic with sharp details and life-like coloring.
His studio has a blue décor. Blue as in blue ribbons. David has won many first prizes in wood carving competitions. I went to his studio to be inspired. Instead I was humbled by his artistry and mastery of the wood. I've carved a few canes and walking sticks, but mine look like junior high school wood shop projects compared to David's. Nice work David!
Have you ever tried your hand at carving a walking stick?
Friday, November 6, 2009
With my old 10” Rikon, I was limited to a 3 ¼” maximum cutting height. Less, if you cut anything on an angle. Any band saw box I designed had to have two dimensions less than 3 ¼”, or some pretty clever cutting sequence. Just imagine how that limits your options. I could never make a decent-sized band saw box with multiple drawers.
With the new saw, my horizons have suddenly expanded. I look at my pile of logs and see all sorts of new possibilities. Ideas that were not possible with the smaller saw and stored in the back closets of my brain are now alive again. The creativity gates are open.
I wonder what other areas of our lives are limited because of the lack of the proper tool…or skill …or education. We make do with what we have, without making an effort to reach for something that is better. Something which would ultimately allow us to accomplish more. We get into a rut and settle for the undersized saw, the boring job. We lose the opportunity to grow or to succeed at new things.
Enough philosophizing. Does anyone out there want to buy a used 10” band saw? It’s a great "starter" band saw.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Here is the new rough shape. There is still a lot of forming to do on the arches. I have left the sides square, not making the bottom box side angle cuts yet, so that I can easily saw off the box top at a right angle to the side, and parallel to the base.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
I had a nice chunk of black walnut that I bought from the local sawmill for a few bucks. I thought it would be ideal for making a “good” Hope Box or two. The photos show the walnut block with the openings rough drilled. The next step is to cut the outer profile with the band saw. I’ll keep you up to date on my progress with photos.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Some people think it is purely a pagan symbol. Personally, I think it is simply a symbol of re-birth which may have roots in pagan beliefs, but has been absorbed and transformed to represent Christian beliefs, like Easter and Resurrection.
I am quickly approaching retirement age, and a new phase of my life. Seeing the Green Man hanging in my living room reminds me that my passage into retirement should be a re-birth into a new life of creativity and appreciation of nature.
Have you ever carved a Green Man? What do you think the Green man symbol means?