Wooden Rings

A hand-carved wooden ring, you say? Actually it was one of my first commercial ventures as a woodcarver. When I was living in Ottawa my girlfriend wanted a ring to seal our deepening relationship, but I was much too poor to buy one.

Whitespace

The carving shown here is in the Chase House in Strawberry Banke, a unique museum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, that preserves the 300-year history of a waterfront neighborhood. The carving is attributed to ship carver Ebenezer Dearing and is in the formal parlor.

Compact tools for efficiency and cost

Lots of us have small shops either through design or necessity. In my case, I deliberately downsized as I shifted from doing larger maritime work like quarterboards and transoms and started focusing on ship and boat portraits. Whatever reason you have for smaller quarters, I encourage you to rethink the conventional wisdom that large is always best.

Invent

Currently, I am bandsawing small planks, turning blanks and spoon blanks for future projects. Admittedly my storage areas look like I am a packrat. But the materials were either free or very cheap compared to buying plank stock in length and thickness for the work. Nothing goes to waste.

Stability

A while ago, I read an article in the New York Times on how artwork produced in the past seventy years was disintegrating rapidly. The deterioration was due to impermanent pigments, aging materials, and chemical conflicts between elements in a mixed media artwork. Some things were never meant to last forever, and others were never intended to be together in art.

Glossy

You probably receive several monthly fliers from the tool manufacturers. If you've worked in wood longer than six months, the shiny things come in every few weeks. These insinuate that you'll be a better craftsperson with their reverse bobtail jointing jig ( only $175.00). Of course, you don't even know what a reverse bobtail joint is, but you'll pour over the glossy pages with pure tool lust in your eyes.

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