Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Grinling Gibbons

Hi all,
I think Grinling Gibbons is our most famous wood carver and his work can be seen in many stately homes across the country. Well, I decided to do a bit of wood carving myself and make something nice for my wife's birthday. I will of course buy her something proper, but I know she likes me to put some effort in and make her something special just for her.

I decided to turn a small trinket box from lime wood, but I needed something special to decorate the lid with, just a bit more plain pyrography would be nice but not special enough for the big day. Anyway, she admired a few things I'd done recently that were based around oak leaves and acorns. I'd used my scroll saw to make a plaque for a gate in the garden and I also made a house number plaque the same way.

To make something for the top of a box that is less than three inches in diameter would mean working a little bit finer but I was up for the challenge.

First, I turned the box and then drew around the lid so that I could draw my design of three leaves and three acorns to the right size. Then I cut out the acorn leaves on the scroll saw and shaped them using a Dremel. I then burnt the pattern into the wood with my pyrography iron.

The next thing I did was to carve the three acorns and then stick the leaves and acorns to the lid of the box with wood glue. I used clamps to hold the parts in place while the glue dried to make sure it all came out flat. Once the glue was dry I used my pyrography iron on the acorns and touched up a few places on the leaves. The lid was then given 3 coats of gloss varnish to give it a bit of shine.
Here is the finished box.
I was pleased with the way it turned out and my wife liked it too. I was going to have a go at a bowl next but I have been informed that my woodturning skills would be better served if I did a bit more spindle work first.

In my next post I show you something different.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Pyrography Rose

Hi all,
I think that the plan to buy a lathe and turn my own boxes is beginning to pay off. I have done 6 boxes now and each one has become a little bit easier than the last. Being able to buy wood and make my own boxes means that I am in control of all of my materials and my head is full of ideas. Pyrography is always my first choice and I will show you my latest pyrography project shortly.

Besides pyrography I have also thought about doing some mosaic work on a box which should be interesting. I also like the idea of inlaying patterns into a box with resin. I have also seen some fantastic wood colouring work on You tube and would like to explore that a little more.

I'm full of inspiration at the moment but lacking in the time to carry some of it out. There are so many jobs to be done about the house. When I think I've got them all done the management comes up with another. A couple of weeks ago we had 6 storage heaters replaced because the ones that came with the house purchase were on their last legs. Anyway, storage heaters are full of bricks and I was left with a stack of them to get rid of. I was going to take them to the tip but my wife had another brain wave, she said I could incorporate them into a water feature for her.

To cut a long story short I had to dig up an area of lawn
and replace it with a water feature and the bricks from the storage heaters. I also had to purchase  a number of alpine plants which I planted and dressed the whole thing with golden gravel.
Here's a closer picture.
It came out pretty well, but it hasn't half cost me a lot of time which is why it's been a long time since my last post.

Anyway, here's my latest turned box complete with pyrography rose.
I hope you like it.
By the way, for those of you who are interested, one of my books, "Carp Rustlers" is free on Amazon for the next three days. Please grab a free download while you can by going to my website and clicking on the books details. The theme is fishing but you don't need to be an angler to enjoy it.