|Project by Mary Anne||posted 07-31-2010 09:41 PM||2873 views||2 times favorited||29 comments|
The pinwheel box represents the flow and give in nature—a pinwheel flutters, bends, and spins in the breeze just as grasses, trees, and even water and stone give way in harmony with Mother Nature’s breath.
But the fluidity in this project is more; it is the story of fluidity in design. Or maybe it is just a series of failures that eventually becomes a success. I started out with a plan to build a cutting board with a tartan pattern, and at the end of the road, I ended up with this pinwheel box. Don’t laugh, it is true! Bear in mind that I am a relative newbie to woodworking. I have only been at it seriously for a few months.
So, here is the story:
I thought a tartan (or plaid) pattern would make a cool cutting board. I spent some time making drawings, cutting pieces of paper, and even endeavoring to learn a wee bit of SketchUp. I made some careful calculations and proceeded to cut some strips of padauk and maple and laminated them together into wider strips. Then I cut them up into a few squares. Oh no, disaster!! So much for my careful calculations; although the pieces fit together, there was no way this was going to make anything remotely resembling what I had in mind.
Can’t quit. Can’t give up. Gotta make something. So it was back to the drawing board, and I came up with this neat design for a pinwheel cutting board in my head. I took my remaining laminations and cut them into triangles. I was really excited about the pinwheels. Oops, cutting triangles out of a straight strip does not create matching triangles. I got two sets of opposites, and there were not enough of any one pattern to make my pinwheel cutting board. I also figured out about then that the pinwheel pattern would have been lost once they were butted up to each other. So far, I am excelling at making mistakes rather than cutting boards!
Okay, Mary Anne, keep it loose and let it flow. I had a pile of triangles. I gathered them up and took them upstairs and dumped them on my dining room table. And played with them… for three days. It is incredible how many designs can be created with simple triangles. Here are a few examples:
I chose one pattern and it became my 3-D Cubicle Cutting Boards. By this time, though, I had really become hooked on the idea of the pinwheel. Alas, I had gone through almost all of my wood! Now what? Time to pick up the pieces (literally) and let it flow. Ah ha, I’ll make a box! Nevermind that my box making experience consists of a single simple rectangular box. Oh well, how hard could a hexagonal box be to make? LOL It turns out that it is much harder to make than a rectangle.
But you know what? I am happy with it, and pretty darned proud of myself, too. Actually, in some ways I am more proud of myself than I am the finished box. I have some health difficulties that slow me down and limit my shop time, and I am “of an age” where change and learning new things are generally not welcomed. I really pushed myself with all of the projects in this series (and I think there may be a few more) and I came out a success. I didn’t give up. I allowed myself to go with the flow.
So, what do you think of my tartan cutting board? LOL