It was a good day yesterday. Again I am excited today because I get to cut out a new project. I finished designing my next candle holder yesterday and I have an extremely beautiful piece of padauk just waiting for the scroll saw this morning. It is so pretty, with bright orange and dark brown streaks running through it. Unfortunately with cutting a scroll saw design into it, you tend to lose the pattern of the grain. It isn’t like a box or something like that, but it is still a prett...
My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #78: Another Skating Figure Complete - Meet "Sonja"
Yesterday was a good day for tying up loose ends. It seemed that about half the day was writing to customers and answering emails. I enjoy that part of the job though, because it really lets me get to know my customers a little better. I also get to see some of the wonderful work they do. I also have some personal correspondences to keep up with. I have one friend in particular who wrote me yesterday. She is a friend from high school, but we became friends more so when I kids were bab...
Well, I’ve done it. I made it to the other side. Sitting here next to me on the table is the final pattern for the autumn catalog. The wood is prepped (a beautiful piece of 5/8” birch), the pattern is completed, and I all have to do is my favorite part of spending a couple of hours at the scroll saw and cutting it out and finishing it. That’s the easy part as any designer can tell you. It’s funny, but at 8:13 last night when the printer was spitting out the fina...
I finally got down to the business of drawing yesterday. It seems like so much has gotten in the way lately, I haven’t been able to spend any time at it. I did a lot of looking around on the computer and was in one of those phases where I have several things that I want to do and didn’t quite know where to start. Those are probably my most unproductive days it seems, although I tend to organize things in my mind eventually and then it flows and I get down to business. I near...
It’s pretty quiet around here today. It’s one of those days when I can’t wait to get to the scroll saw, but it is only 7am and I don’t dare until another couple of hours. I was able to finish another drawing last night of a fretwork liner that I am going to market to set under the large jar candles. It will resemble the dresser tray in concept, but it will set underneath the jar. Many people thought that the little dresser tray was made for that purpose, as the size...
Computer Challenged I had just bought my MacBook in 2006 and was still learning how to use it when I bought the pro version of SketchUp. I had grand delusions of doing all of my design work on the computer. I refer to this as a delusion because with running my own remodel business, learning how to use my first computer, and learning SketchUp I did not have enough time. There was just too much to learn at one once, I had no reference point for understanding the principles of computers or ho...
My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #256: Thinking - An Important Step In Designing
I want to start off by thanking you all for the responses to yesterday’s blog – both here and in personal messages. I have a lot of good information to start with and it is good to have at least an idea of what to look for when looking for a lathe and equipment. I don’t know if I will even be able to get started with wood turning for a while for several reasons, but I at least want to know what to look for and what questions to ask when I am at the show and during the tri...
I started this blog separated from the spiral design because all the designs that will be posted here will be in a rectangular form. If you extend that circular arc by projecting it linearly, then a Sine wave will be produced. The distance of the y axis varies with the time… On the following design I used a cosine curve because I like to concentrate on putting the smaller pieces in the middle. So this is how it looks….. One at a time.. I will do in flesh after I fi...
Project Inspiration A couple of months ago, Woodsmith magazine had a shop built belt sander on the cover which inspired me to try to build my own. I’ve been using a handheld Dewalt Belt sander with a stand as a bench sander but have been frustrated with the small sanding area. I also had to fix a broken shaft screw using super glue so I know that its days are numbered. The Woodsmith version was designed to take advantage of a lathe to drive the sander when the lathe is not in use but...
With the release of my latest article in WOOD magazine on design, it prompted more requests for a video on designing and how I find inspiration. In this video I share the lifestyle habits I have that allow me to keep finding inspiration, recording those ideas, and developing the designs. For an example, I share how I turned a Japanese torii gate into a stairwell barrier, bucking the standard design of newell posts, balusters, and handrail. While the subject of designing can get pretty d...
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