Thursday, 25 October 2018


Hi all,
In my last post I showed you the model of Shelfie Santa thatI had made from Plasticine to aid with the carving of one from wood. It has been a bit of a long haul, but today I finished most of the carving.
I've still got to texture his beard with a vainer and the wife is going to paint it. Overall, I'm very pleased with how it has gone even though it was hard work. I started with a square piece of lime wood and due to the odd shape I had to remove a lot of material.

Here is a picture of the Plasticine model and the carving side by side.
The only thing I don't like about the carving is that the face came out a bit flat. This apparently is the hall mark of a novice carver so I'm running true to type.

I have done several carving now and I'm quiet surprised to find that I enjoy carving with a knife, more enjoyable than power carving. I do use a Dremel in a flexi-shaft for a bit of sanding and, tidying up with diamond burrs, but I prefer not to use burrs for major material removal. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, I don't feel as I have half as much control when using the burrs and secondly. there is something deeply satisfying about removing wood with a knife. Perhaps it is just instinct, or an urge from our predecessors when a knife was used for many thing, not least survival.

The biggest problem with knife carving for me is that if I do it for too long my wrist begins to ache so I have to limit my carving to about a hour a day. No matter there are plenty of other things to get on with that keep my creative juices flowing.

While I was resting from the Santa, I was doing another egg for my collection. This one is meant to be a bit like cherry blossom. I drew the flowers and leaves on by hand and then outlined them with my pyrography iron using a spoon tip. Then I painted the flowers using Derwent Intense blocks. I used Inktense because they have a brilliant range of colours and when they dry they are permanent.

After the painting, I gave it several coats of melamine lacquer to protect it and give it a bit of shine.

Just a reminder, if you want to see more of my creative work, which includes, woodturning, woodcarving, pyrography and artwork, please visit my website and take a look at the galleries.

Not sure what will be in my next post yet, but I feel the need to spin some wood so it might be a vase.

Thursday, 18 October 2018


Hi all,
I haven't done much turning lately due to a succession of jobs that the wife wanted me to do, including the sighting of a freestanding cooker, but more about that later.

First I would like to show you my new shelfie.
I carved it from lime and allowed my wife the pleasure of painting it. She did a good job eventually. I say eventually, because her first attempt was dire. She did it in dark green and red which made it look glum. I had to sand all the paint off and let her do it again. Anyway, all is well that ends well and it now looks very nice in the bathroom.

My next carving is going to be a Santa shelfie but I have a feeling it is going to take quite a while to do it. I've gone as far as making a model from Plasticine.
If you are thinking of doing any carving I can tell you that making a little model is invaluable.

I've also got it in my mind to turn another long desk pen that I have just started so I will show you that in my next post as long as my wife doesn't come up with too many jobs.

Last week saw me fitting a new freestanding cooker. The old one was built in with a separate hob which meant that I had to cut the work surface. I didn't fancy the task one bit but had no choice because the electrician, who was disconnection the supply to the old cooker and wiring up the new one, said he didn't cut work surfaces in case something went wrong.

The jig saw that came with my second wife 25 years ago didn't look like it was going to do a good job of cutting a straight line so I shelled out £40 for one from Screwfix . It said it had a laser light for accurate cutting, I thought this was just a gimmick but it worked well beyond my expectations and the job was a success. The only sad part was the fact that I purchased 2 metal strips to go on the ends of the work surface between cooker and the work surface. I paid £8 each for them from B&Q which I thought was a bit steep for a very thin piece of metal.

Anyway, I cut them to length, smeared them with a bit of sealant and screwed them on. I then found out that the gap where the cooker was going was now too narrow to accept it. I do wish designers would get their act together. The cabinet carcass I took out was 600mm wide and the cooker I purchase was 600mm wide which meant there was no space between for the metal strips which were only 1mm thick. If I was designing a cooker to fit in a 600mm gap I would make it 595mm wide to give the customer a couple on mm to play with.

Ha well, it's in now. If anybody wants to buy a couple of work surface endstrips in black, please let me know.

Lastly, I just want to let you know that I have revamped my website. It was very confusing before and now I have made it better. It is now easy to find pictures of my work in galleries. If you go there you will find galleries for my woodturnings, pyrography, artwork and carvings. Here's the link please take a look an let me know what you think.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Book and Egg

Hi all,
Just a quick one to let you know one of my books "The Reluctant Pom" is currently free to download from Amazon. Here is the link. Please grab a copy now and have a good laugh.

I mentioned in my last post that I was doing another Pyrography egg, this time with a harebell design. Well here it is, finished with several coats of melamine lacquer.
It has come out really well and you can see that I have used the none outline method and I think it works really well. Please let me know what you think.

Well that's it for now, short and sweet because I just didn't want you missing out on a free book. The free offer is open from today until Saturday, I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, 5 October 2018

yellow pen and shelfie

Hi all,
In my last post I said I would show you the pen I was about to turn and another shelfie. Well here is the pen.
Yellow and black and puts me in mind of wasps, of which there are many at the moment. I keep a swatter by my side at all times whilst sitting in the garden. I know there a few people who are of the opinion that if you leave wasps alone they wont hurt you, well if you think that, I' sorry , but it is only a matter of time before you get stung. My mother in law and my step daughter were both in the live and let live camp until they were stung this year. Suddenly they have gone off wasps.

Anyway, back to the pen. It wasn't supposed to be that colour. When I first turned it and cut in the beads I tried to make it look like basket weave. So, I coloured in a pattern with red and black markers and left some of the squares the natural wood colour. I'll be honest with you, it was crap, so I lightly turned the colours away and re did the pyrography lines. I'm very pleased with the pyrography, the long lines were marked out using the indexing facility on my lathe, and burnt in with my Peter Childs pyrography iron. The lines which go around the pen were burnt in by holding a piece of veneer in the groove that was left by the beading tool. The colouring was done with a yellow Winsor and Newton pro marker and I think it has come out rather well.

Right, onto the Shelfie. This one is a little bit smaller than the first one I did and he has his eyes under his hat. I made it small because I wanted to see what he looked like painted.
Here is the original that I recently posted.
And here is the new one, which I have painted.
Not sure which is best, so I'm going to do one the same size as the first and paint that to see what it looks like. I'm also working on a new pyrography egg for my collection. This one has a harebell design on it. I will hopefully show you them in my next post. My only problem at the moment is time. My mrs has a list of jobs for me to do including fitting a new cooker. Not an easy job because it will entail cutting a space in the work surface, please keep your fingers crossed for me and I will tell you how I got on in my next post.