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Thursday, April 21, 2011

More for Our Friends in Japan

I did a second quilt square for the WCI Japan Relief Project, I was having fun with the tangrams so I stuck with 'em. He's a running boy, the same 7 polygons are used to make him as the palm tree, same size polygons too. Some are obvious, some I may have blended the lines a bit, a little exercise in artistic license.

I'm getting a little more comfortable with calling myself an artist, the artist ego coming to the fore I guess.

If you've viewed the rest of my blog, you'll notice these are my first relief type whittlings, and yes they are still whittling- one knife only, start to finish. Well, there was the bandsaw, and the table saw, and the planer, and the drill press with the router bit, but after that it was all done with just one knife.... Technically they are probably High Relief due to the undercuts on some parts. Like everything else, they were fun.

They were also educational. I've heard of using tea as an antiquing stain, I'm not sure what I've heard about using it on wood but I definitely remember hearing about using it to make linens look older. I gave it a try here and LOVE the results. 16 oz hot water, throw in the teabag and leave it til the water cools. I applied it liberally to dry wood (I tried applying it to wet wood on a scrap, it added no color at all). While the endgrain sucked up more than the long grain areas, the color from the tea is subtle enough to NOT cause the blotchy dark cloud you can get with spirit based stains. Let it dry, don't be disappointed if the dry piece looks like it has no color, your clear coats will bring it back. It worked well on plain wood, I'm pretty certain it will not work to antique a painted piece. I'm afraid my photos don't do the finish justice, as is the way with my photos sometimes. Probably the best way for you to see the results is to


Happy whittling- I have a cold and am going to bed now.

Buffalo Bif

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

For our Friends in Japan

The WoodcarvingIllustrated forum has started a project to support the Red Cross efforts in Japan's recovery from the recent tsunami. Nearly 100 crafters- wood burners, jigsawyers and carvers are donating time and effort to create 4" squares which will be arranged into a 'quilt' style wall hanging to be auctioned off in June. Other than the 4" square the only restriction is squares must be 3/8" to 1/2" thick at the edges, and the hole pattern in the corners is spec'd- 1/8" holes 3/8" off each edge. I'll send two, others are also sending multiples, expectations are over 100 squares divided into 3 wall hangings.

Both my pieces will be based on the Japanese puzzle game of Tangrams: the same seven polygons are used to create both. You might be interested to Google 'Tangrams' and play your self.

The pic is of the unfinished square, block was 1" thick, so the high part of the palm stands a little less than half an inch above the background. I undercut the leaves and top of the trunk to try and enhance the 3rd dimension- the shadows work, I think. I took some liberties with the shapes, curved the edges, rounded over a corner or two- and one triangle got severely modified when I wasn't looking.

The second square- still a Work in Progress. Stay tuned.