Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Finished walking stick

Hi all,
In my last post I showed you the horrible knobs that I'd made for my walking stick, well I've done another one that isn't perfect, but it's a damn sight better than the previous two and it'll do for me.

Here is the top of the knob complete with turquoise inlay.
Pretty neat even though I do say so myself. Here is the pattern on the body of the stick.
That also turn out very nice. Here is the whole stick ready to go for a walk.
You can see in this photo the shape of the knob which is much improved. The only thing I dislike about it is the size of the metal ferrule. I think it needs to be half that size. My wife has asked me to do a stick for her so I'm going to reduce the size of the ferrule on hers.

There is a lot of work in that stick but every part of the process was pleasant. I enjoyed drawing the design and doing the carving and pyrography work. Okay it was time consuming but it was also therapeutic.

I have taken it for a couple of walks and it does the job well. It feels sturdy and a aid to my poor old legs.

I have started work on something called a "Flower of Life" and I should be able to show you that in my next post.

I am also managing t keep up with digital painting and have just uploaded a painting I did of some calla lilies.

Please take a look if you are interested in seeing how they were done and subscribe if you would like to see more. My next painting will be of some autumn leaves and a robin. Any comments on the video or the stick are welcome.

Monday, 27 May 2019

Couldn't get it right

Hi All,
I have been very busy trying to finish the walking stick. I made a knob for it and did a bit of pyrography to finish it off.
I also used my Dremel to do some inset carving on the flowers and the stalks. I also burnt the background to give it some contrast.
Here is the finished stick.

I hate to say it but I don't like it. A lot of work for nothing. I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong.
Was it the wrong shape ? Too big? Was the pyrography over the top? Would a plain knob have been better? I'd love to know what you think.
Anyway, I decided that I could do better and did another one; a different shape and no pyrography.
Yes I know, and I can hear you laughing. My wife thought it jolly funny and made all sorts of lewd comments. Another wasted effort. Well perhaps not because it has helped me the solution. I need to make a smaller knob, which isn't all that easy. Let me explain.
The reason the knob is so big is because about an inch of the end of the stick is inserted into it. This is done to give it strength and I thought the design would be simple and look OK. Evidently I was wrong, so now I need a new design.
I have decided to use a ferrule to joint the stick to the knob which will give it strength and allow me to make the knob much thinner and smaller. Hopefully this will give me a balanced stick. I have sent for a piece of tubing to make the ferrule and when that gets here I will turn a new knob. With a bit of luck it will be in time for my next post.

I'm still doing art on the ipad and have just finished painting some crab apple blossom with a honey bee . It is the first time I've painted a bee. If you are interested, I have done a short video to show how I painted it.

If you enjoy it please subscribe, it costs nothing and if you don't click the bell icon, you won't even get bothered with notifications.
Any comments, I'd love to hear them.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Inlaid pot

Hi all,
With the big gardening jobs behind me I have managed to get creative during the last week. I finished the pot that I've been turning and it came out quite well. The lid is perhaps a little on the big side, it probably should have been slightly smaller, but overall it looks ok. The lid looks better in real life because the angle of the photo has made it look even bigger than it is.
The turquoise inlay looks very nice in the top of the lid and the one around the side looks okay too. If I did it again I would make it a little bit wider but I was worried that I wouldn't have enough turquoise powder to complete it. I shouldn't have worried because I had loads left over but it was too late then. I can't remeber what the wood is, I think it is Panga Pang. but it doesn't matter because I won't bother with it again. It was very hard and created one hell of a lot of dust when I was working it.

If you saw my last post you will know that I'm also working on a carved and pyrographed walking stick. I have drawn on the rest of the flowers and outlined them with the pyrography iron. I have also started carving the stems and leaves.
I used my dremel with a small rosebud shaped burr and it worked very well. It was accurate and quick. I did all of the carving in the garden which makes a change from doing it indoors where I have to have the dust extractor running which is very noisy.

Besides working with wood I've also managed to get another painting done. We have a couple of polyanthus plants at the bottom of our garden.
It's a beautiful little plant with flowers similar to a primrose and I thought it would make a nice painting. You can see how I got on if you watch this short video. I did them on a blck background to make them stand out.

I also explain a bit about going digital. If you enjoy the video, please subscribe, it costs nothing and if you don't click the bell icon you won't even get bothered with notifications.

Thanks for looking in.

Friday, 10 May 2019

Pyro stick

Hi all,
Are we having some bad weather or what? Every year is the same. We have a few nice days that gives me a chance to catch up with all the gardening jobs, then the weather turns foul so I can't sit in the garden and enjoy the fruit of my labour. But even worse, while the weather is bad, the weeds still keep growing, so when it goes nice again, instead of enjoying the garden it will be back to weeding and mowing.

Still I have a plan. Later this year we are having the  front garden, and part of the rear garden, hard landscaped with slabs, blocks and gravel. That should save me some time next year and I'll be able to do more stuff that I like doing.

On the woodworking front, I have decide to concentrate on the walking stick that I began a couple of months ago. I have done a patch at the top of the stick by carving some flowers on it.
I drew the flowers on first with a pencil then carved out the shapes with a Dremel using an inverted cone shaped burr. Then I used my pyrography iron to burn and re-enforce the shapes. At this stage it looked a bit rough around the areas where I'd done the carving, so  I filled in the whole of the background with my pyrography iron. Instead of my usual spoon tip, I used a wire tip on a hot setting and just kept poking holes in the wood.
It was very therapeutic and the contrast it gave made it visually more appealing. Now all I've got to do is more of the same on the rest of the stick. I am looking forward to sitting in the garden and doing it soon when the sun comes out again. And, I will also be doing a carved knob for the top of the stick, so I will be getting on with that too.

In the evenings I'm still doing a bit of digital painting. I have just finish a a pair of magnolias which I am very pleased with.
You can see how I went about paint these on a short video I did for my Youtube channel "The Armchair Artist" by clicking on this link.
Please take a look and, if you like it, please consider subscribing. I will upload a new video of each painting when I complete them.
Thanks for looking. Any comments or questions I would;d be pleased to receive them.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Back in the swing, almost

Hi all,
I've been trying to keep up with my wife's requests for improvements in the garden, one of which included relaying 9 wonky slabs. It isn't the sort of work I enjoy at my age and it has left me a bit on the wrong side of knackered. Anyway, the worst is over now so I'm hoping to get back to a bit of crafting.

The weather is warming up and last year I enjoyed doing a bit of wod carving cum whittling whilst enjoying the sun in our back garden. My wife said she wouldn't mind another shelfie, so whilst have a tea break during the slab laying process I drew one that I would like to make. The following day I even managed to make a rough model of it out of Plastacine.
If you are thinking of taking up woodcarving it really is worth making a model  from Plastacine before you start cutting wood and making mistakes.

You can see that this shelfie is going to be an old chap from years gon by. I can imagine him sitting on the dock of the bay waiting for relatives coming over to America to live the dream with him.

I like big hats on my shelfies and the long tailed coat at the back will help with the stability and and balance when it is sitting on the shelf. I am looking forward to carving it over the next few weeks.

I have also got a lump of wood on my lathe that I'm going to turn into a vase with a turquoise inlay; so that should be fun.

Other than that I'm still painting on the ipad and need to catch up with a couple of videos. I my last Blog I posted the wrong picture of the video I had uploaded so I have corrected that. If you want to take a look here it is. In it you will see how I created a painting of some harebells and a butterfly.

Sunday, 7 April 2019


Hi all,
I'm afraid I haven't done any woodturning or carving this week because my wife has had me busy in the garden. Our neighbours cut down a lovely big hedge that gave us a lot of privacy.  Despite us putting up a new tall fence we still had a view of other people's washing and trampolines.

Here is picture that shows the hedge on the right.
To get some privacy back we decided that I would build a free standing trellis a couple of feet from the fence. This would be covered by growing the very rampant Belvedere rose over it.
Here is the trellis.

You can see how this will work, even without the rose it feels a lot better to not be overlooked. Digging the holes for the posts was the hardest bit of the job. I enjoyed cutting all the lathes because it gave me a chance to use the cheap chopsaw I got recently from screwfix. Very good it was too.
Anyway, I've had little time for anything creative except for a bit more digital art that I do in the evenings.
Here is my latest painting of some harebells and a blue butterfly that I have done for my youtube channel, "The Armchair Artist."
I hope you enjoy watching it. If you do please consider subscribing because I want to share them with as many people as possible.

Friday, 29 March 2019

Bottle opener done

Hi all,
Well it has finally happened, I have actually finish the bottle opener project, complete with pyrography pattern. And here it is.
I'm pleased with the way that it turned, even though it is a bit flimsy. You have to hold the metal part while you open a bottle because if you didn't it would bend at the first joint, a boomerang shaped bottle opener is not a pretty thing. To overcome this you have to just hold the metal part whilst using it.

It was only cheap but I won't be using that supplier again. I did try to get a more substantial one from Axminster but as is often the case they were out of stock.  Anyway, I will use this one until it breaks and then I'll see if Axminster have got a grip on their stocking levels. One thing is for sure, my new bottle opener looks much better than the one I was using.
I don't know what my next turning project will be because my wife has presented me with a big task in the garden. We live in a small bungalow and, until our new neighbours moved in, we had a lot of privacy courtesy of the big leylandii hedge in their garden. These were planted by the previous owner, who like us like us didn't like being overlooked  by nearby houses.

Anyway, the new neighbours cut down the hedge and opened us up to the world. One solution would be to plant some more trees, but at our age time isn't on our side. So she wants me to build a self supporting trellis that can be covered with rambling roses and thus give us a bit of quick screening. I will show you my progress in my next post.

I have managed to do a another video for my channel on Youtube, "The Armchair Artist ."  Please take a look  and subscribe if you would like to see more.
Thanks for watching.