I finished up the drawings for the new set of ornaments yesterday. Then I went to work getting them laid out and started cutting them.
So far they look pretty good and even though once again the cutting isn’t what I would call ‘beginner’, I think that with a little time and concentration that most people will be able to do them.
I am finding that the most difficult thing that I have had to encounter with designing is that my designs are getting more detailed and more intricate. While I don’t feel that these designs are very hard to cut, they do take a bit of concentration and technique so that they can be done easily and successfully.
There are times when I wonder if I am making things ‘too hard’ for most people, but then I look around and see how many of the free patterns are very easy and I think that my own customers come to me because they want to do something a bit more challenging.
I find that I enjoy this type of cutting very much. I think it is relaxing and while it isn’t something that you would want to speed cut, it is very satisfying to see the results.
After the first piece was cut, I knew that the rest would be workable and I look forward to seeing them all finished. I finished my drawings about 3:30, and by the time I picked out the wood, applied the patterns and got everything all prepared for the saw, it was nearly 5pm.
Here is a picture of the rough ornament for you to see:
Now remember – these aren’t sanded or polished or finished at all. It is just a rough picture so you all can see what I am talking about.
I decided to make the ornaments in two layers. I like the dimensional effect and it allowed me to be able to use contrasting wood. While you would think the background would be the darker sky, I thought that the silhouette of the reindeer would be the darkest point and then the sky would need to be lighter. I chose to use maple for the back plate and walnut for the silhouette. Both of these woods are very tight grained and hold up to details well.
I also decided to have the grain for the back plate and the silhouette in opposite directions, with the back plate having the grain horizontal and the silhouettes with it vertical. The reasoning behind this is not only because the sky would have the shadows of wispy clouds in a horizontal direction, but also because of the direction of the breaks in much of the lettering would be stronger with things that way. The same principle applied to the deer, as the antlers would be much stronger overall with the grain in a vertical direction.
I added a layer of 1/8” plywood underneath each of the pieces and am in the process of cutting two sets. There were two reasons that I chose to do this – I wanted the additional strength that the plywood would offer while I was cutting and I wanted another set in plywood so that I could try some staining on it and offer the pattern with two versions. With this type of pattern, you would probably be able to stack cut it up to four layers comfortably.
I got through about half of the pieces last night, and I decided that I am going to make another video and add it onto the end of the scroll saw online class. This chapter will be a lesson on cutting the letters, and show some of the things that I do to make the cutting easy, stress free and successful. While many of these things seem obvious to me, I do realize that some newer people could benefit from sharing some ideas as to how I do things.
It was a bit late when I decided to do this (almost 9) so I thought I would quit at that point and finish up today and try to get a video done on them. It has been a while since I made a video, so I feel a bit rusty with it, but I suppose I will just jump back in and try and see how it goes.
So that’s the plan for today. Hopefully I will have some good stuff for you tomorrow. (Now that I said it here, I suppose that is a commitment for me and I won’t back out!)
I hope you have a wonderful Saturday. Enjoy your summer weekend and have fun doing something you love to do.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"