Yesterday turned out to be a good and productive day. I not only finished up my ornament set, but I also finished the drawings for the next project that I will be offering.
I really liked working on these. After the large production order, it was a welcome change to do something that was so detailed and precise. It was a good exercise for my mind.
I have decided to incorporate the birdcage into a design of a small plaque that I will be offering free on my site. I like to offer a free pattern, as it gives customers an idea of how our patterns are put together. Hopefully, it will show them the time and quality we put into our patterns and they will want to come back and purchase more designs from us. We realize that there is a lot of competition out there from designers who offer things for free and we want to show that our work is paying for.
The bird cage ornaments are made of maple, and I decided to do the birds as overlay pieces on them. I did try to incorporate the bird right into the cage piece, and it worked fine, but I felt that there wasn’t enough definition of the bird for it to stand out properly because of the size. I suppose that if the customer wanted, they would be able to paint the silhouette of the bird black or brown if they desired, but I thought that would be a bit of a hassle.
Instead, I chose to cut the birds as separate pieces using ebony and walnut to make black and brown birds. I had some very thin (1/8” stock) scraps of both species of wood and they worked fine. I also debated whether to put the birds behind the bars of the cage or glue them on the top. While I realize that it is ‘politically correct’ for the birds to be behind the bars, I choose to use artistic license and put them in front. The maple I used to make the ornaments was a bit thicker than what I usually use (about 3/16”) because I wanted the thin bars of the cages to be substantial enough to be sturdy. If I would have put the birds behind the bars, they certainly would have been lost in the shadows of the cage, and not photographed well at all. Naturally, the customers could put them wherever they choose.
Below are the finished pieces:
I am really happy with how they look.
As I stated in a previous blog, I think they will need to be labeled as ‘advanced’ for cutting. The only reason I say this is because you need to be quite accurate when cutting the bars and the swirls or you will run into trouble. If everything is set up properly and you take your time, you should have no problem at all.
The only real problem that I had with them is that (once again) the glue was letting up on some of the curls. I had used the blue painter’s tape directly on the top of the wood, and glued the pattern to it. For the most part the glue stuck, but it still was giving me trouble and I had forgotten to purchase the glue sticks and give them a try. I did find the phone number to talk to someone at Elmers, thanks to Bert Flores who commented on the blog regarding the problems that I had with the glue, but since it was a holiday yesterday of course no one was available. I will try again today and see what they say and if they did indeed change their product.
So today I will be finishing up the pattern packets for this project, as well as beginning my next. It felt great to get these done and I hope that everyone likes them.
I hope you all have a wonderful day and that things cool down for my friends in the States. We are fortunate here in Nova Scotia that it hasn’t been too bad. While we have had our warm days, it seems to be nice and cool at night.
Enjoy your day!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"