Those of you who know me well know that I am not a ‘random’ type of person. I generally like to keep everything pretty organized and when I do something, it is done systematically and orderly. I find that as my way to keep my busy life under control. I have always been somewhat like that.
With that said, I realize that doing an assignment or project such as the one I am working on now is something if a stretch for me. It isn’t often that I do something that is on this line, where each piece is different. Initially it was hard to get started, but the more I drew, the more freedom I felt and the more fun it got to be. And I am very pleased with the results so far.
After drawing the intricate Conversation Hearts ornament set last week, I wanted something that even a beginner scroller could accomplish. While the Conversation Heart project isn’t the most difficult project I have ever made, I think it is a bit challenging and someone who is newer to scroll sawing may have some difficulty making it. I wanted something that would draw a beginner to their scroll saw and in the process, maybe make them stretch just a little bit and try something new and grow as an artist.
While designing these, I tried to include most, if not all of the techniques that I highlighted in my Online Scroll Saw Class here on Lumberjocks. I purposely made these ornaments simpler, yet rich with different techniques so that a newbie could practice the procedures explained in the lessons. Since they are ornaments, each one is what I consider a ‘low risk’ to cut, as you are only using a small amount of scrap wood and also can complete the average ornament in about 5-10 minutes. I think that will be appealing to lots of people.
Then, to add something more to the mix, I decided to make these ornaments ‘embellished’. I had previously made some star ornaments and Christmas trees and snowflakes that were embellished and people really seemed to love the idea. So I designed them with that in mind and left room for people to embellish them with beads (I will be using pearls in my own samples). This will not only dress up the simpler designs, but also teach another valuable technique that people can apply to many other projects. Also, if they don’t choose to embellish them, they have the choice of either just drilling holes to add interest or leaving them out altogether and using different wood to create the ornaments. They can even stain or paint them for different effects. The possibilities are very numerous.
To illustrate this scope of options, I chose to use four different species of wood for the samples. Not only did this offer some ideas for people, but it also exemplified the diversity of each of the ornaments themselves. When I was finished cutting yesterday, they looked pretty cool:
This picture is just after cutting. They haven’t been sanded or oiled yet and as you can see, there are no beads on them (that part is the last thing to do!) They all have the depressions drilled in them so the beads are seated right in the ornament.
Most of them took about five minutes to cut after the initial drilling and set up. The one that took the longest was the lattice heart which had about 20 cuts or so.
The wood I used was hickory, jatoba, walnut and cherry. The wood is about 3/16” thick – give or take and the pattern can be adapted to anything you have on hand.
I am going to be finishing these up hopefully today. I have to go to Digby for an eye appointment today so that will take me away for much of the day, but I am going to try to get them done by tonight anyway.
I really look forward to seeing these finished up. They were fun and no stress to create and I think that both the beginners and the seasoned scroll sawyers alike will like them. I suppose I really surprised myself this time. (In a good way!)
I wish you all a great day!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"