Yesterday turned out pretty good. It felt great to have a handle on everything and things went pretty much according to plan. It was even sunny out, which meant that I didn’t have to do routing in between raindrops. If I had finished earlier on Sunday, I would have probably waited anyway because it rained most of the day.
The Birch I choose for the tray was a really good piece. It was flat and clear and stable and would be the perfect background for the design. This tray, unlike most of the others, was what I call a negative design. Instead of the design being left and removing the material from around it, it was cut from the wood, leaving the framework. The “Hope” ornament set was like that. The lettering was removed and the ornaments consisted of the background and frame.
Although it always isn’t appropriate for every kind of design, I like this kind of scrolling. I find that you can be extremely detailed without worrying about things falling off. It really highlights the abilities you have on the scroll saw to make fine cuts and curves. It is a nice change from ‘regular’ scrolling and one I think I needed after all of the trays I was doing.
Here is a picture of the finished candle tray:
|From Holly Candle Holder|
The overview of the entire design:
|From Holly Candle Holder|
And a picture of the detailing:
|From Holly Candle Holder|
After all the other trays, I guess it is pretty much self-explanatory. I used a 2/0 reverse-tooth blade and it was small enough to do the cutting, but since the Birch is pretty hard, it offered a good amount of resistance so I had a great deal of control, which is exactly what I needed with this type of design. I first tried cutting with a 2 reverse tooth, but found that the blade seemed too wide for the corners, which I wanted to keep nice and sharp. It was a dream to cut this out and I really enjoyed doing it. There is something really satisfying to me when cutting. It is my favorite part of my job. Like anything, it seems you have good days and bad days with it, but I think that planning is a big part of that and after the last couple of weeks of working the way I have, I really enjoyed this last part of my deadline. I wanted to make this design one of the best, as I didn’t want to cut any corners (no pun intended!) just because I was doing several at once. I tried really hard to look at each design individually and give it a style and personality all its own.
I also decided to do a beading-type drilling in it. I think this added interest and made it look more formal. The trick when doing this type of drilling is using a brad-point drill bit and take your time. You can’t rush it and expect it to come out good. I gently touch the center point of the bit to the pattern and make sure it is centered and then slowly apply pressure. This way there is little tear out and I am sure the holes are in the right place. The effect is really nice, I think and adds a lot to the overall look of the design.
As you may have noticed, I haven’t finished the birch yet. I am toying with the idea of applying a green stain to it all. I took my pictures of it natural, so I could submit them for the catalog and did so yesterday. But looking at that perfect piece of wood, it is almost asking me to stain it. I have a beautiful color called Pthalo Green which is a deep, almost bluish green acrylic that is transparent in itself and I am thinking that with the gel medium I have been using, it will give a nice deep, yet sheer color. We will have to see how things go later today.
I am holding off posting the project in my gallery until I make the final decision. I need to write the instructions for these last five candle trays and I want to get them on my site by the weekend. Although they are similar, there are some things I want to point out when making each one so I want to take extra care when writing the instructions. Now that I have several new projects under my belt, I want to take the rest of the week to concentrate on the site and the other details of my business. I still have so many more of these I want to do, but I also have more ornaments and stuff I want to draw and it may be good for me to change my direction for just a bit and do something different.
I also want to paint. I am really getting the urge to do a nice painting. I have one half-finished one of a black cat lounging on a pumpkin that I started almost two years ago, but I haven’t worked on it for over a year. My mind and heart just weren’t in it. I want to do something else though, like a bear or a wolf or a fox and I need to look at photos and decide which direction to go. I am fighting the urge to do another big cat because I have so many of them that I know I need to diversify. I love the cat’s eyes, though. They are like no other animals. I usually paint them first because I feel like it gives the painting a soul.
Anyway, we will see on that. I hope you all like the Holly Candle Tray. I will post the pictures when I decide what I am going to do with it. Until then I have plenty to keep me busy. I decided to refinish the top of my kitchen table yesterday and have it stained and it needs a couple of coats of clear on it. I am taking bets as to which of the three cats will jump on it first when I put the finish on it. With three of them, it is just about a given. :)
It is only Tuesday and there is a whole week of fun ahead. I am looking forward to see what the rest of the week brings. I hope you all have a great day too!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"