Tuesday, 28 February 2017

More Pyro Pens

Hi all,
 I have been having some fun adding to my collection of hand turned pens which I have decorated using pyrography. My objective was to make 10 slimline pens and put them into my shop which I have opened on folksy.com.

The idea was to use any money generated from the sale of slimline pens to buy some of the fancier and bigger pen kits, which would provide me with a bigger canvas for my pyrography.

Anyway, I put all eight pens that I had so far decorated with pyrography into my shop and went on to make the ninth. This pen had a tulips design.
The photo doesn't quite do it justice, but I added it to my collection on Folksy on Saturday evening. I wasn't expecting any sales just yet, but low and behold, I got an email on Sunday morning saying that the pen had sold. I had mixed feelings about this; yes the money would be nice to invest in more kits and I was chuffed that somebody like my work enough to part with their hard earned cash for it, but I really liked that pen and had hardly gotten used to having it my collection.

 Thankfully the sadness didn't last too long and I was soon back in the workshop making another pen and burning it with my pyrography iron. This one was decorated with hare bells, which are one of my favourite wild flowers.
This is now in my folksy shop and pushing the number of pens on sale closer to my target of 10.

I have been asked by a few people how I manage to transfer the images that I want to do onto a pen, which is small and cylindrical in shape. Well the answer is, I don't. I draw the image straight onto the pen with a pencil before I burn it, but the process doesn't start there. In my next post I will explain how I go about getting an image out on my head and onto the pen. In fact, if anybody is interested in having a go I will be putting up two or three designs that can be copied.

One last thing I want to mention. One of my books, the one pictured below, will be available for a free download for 3 days from Wednesday 1st of March until the 3rd.
This is the first time that this book has been given away for free, so please grab a copy while you can. It's a bit too cold to go fishing at the moment, but the next best thing is reading about it.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Kitchen Trouble

Hi all,
I am afraid there hasn't been any time for pen making, wood turning or pyrography for the past two weeks. The reason for my lack of creativity is that my wife decided she wanted a new kitchen because she no long liked the one that was in the bungalow when we bought it. This meant I had to traipse around various kitchen showrooms with her while she weighed up her options. After several days of this and at least two full layouts that I did for her on the computer she changed her mind. She decided against a new kitchen because of the cost. I don't blame her because the prices quoted were just plain silly.

Let's face it kitchen cupboards are mostly chipboard so how can they justify prices of around £600 for a single cupboard? Anyhow, when she said she'd changed her mind, I did a secret jump for joy and was about to scuttle back to my workshop to do some turning any pyrography. I shouldn't have looked so happy because she wasn't done yet.

Seeing has she was saving us a fortune by not having the kitchen of her dreams, she wanted some changes made to the one we've got. This included a new ceramic sink and new flooring, but the biggest task was to solve her storage problem for her. We had kept all our tins of food and jars in the corner cupboard which is about as much use as an ash tray on a motorbike. Corner cupboards are a wast of space because you can't see what the hell is going on at the back. This was one of the main reasons why my wife wanted a new kitchen, because the the new corner cupboards are called magic corners. You open the door and a selection of cranks and pulleys means you are presented with the contents of the cupboard an it is all very easy to get at. However, this contraption, as good as it is, costs a lot of dosh. So I was asked to come up with somewhere for her to store what is in the corner cupboard and make it easy for her to get at.

The only space in the kitchen to put anything new was between the fridge and the hall.
If you look along the white wall to the right hand side you can see the doorway to the hall, so any cupboard in that area would have to be thin. In fact, it could only be 4 inches deep and 24 inches wide.

Having sorted out the measurements, I searched the Internet looking for such a cupboard, but nothing exists. My only option was to build one, so I did a rough drawing and went to Wickes and bough the wood.
That's it, thirty quid's worth of pine, just think of the pen blanks I could have got for that. Anyway after beavering away for a couple of days on my scroll saw, (the only saw I own that doesn't require muscle power) I finally finished the job. Here it is in all its glory.
It looks pretty smart even if I do say so myself and my wife is over the moon with it. She can now see exactly what she has in the cupboard and it is nice and easy for her to get at.
So now you know why I haven't done a post for a couple of weeks. She still wants me to build two plate racks and do some tongue and groove cladding around the breakfast bar, but regardless of that, I'm going to start turning and burning again very soon. In my next post, I'll tell you about the pyrography pen that sold in less than 24 hours and give you some more tips on how I do the pyrography on pens.