Today is one of my favorite days of the year. Those of you who read know that I frequently wish that my days had more hours in them, and today is the one day of the year that my wish actually comes true. A 25 hour day!
Now how I am going to use that extra hour is hard to decide. There are so many wonderful directions that I am heading in right now that I could choose from a variety of tasks.
Yesterday was a very productive and happy day for me. All week I was working on a new ornament set, and it seemed that one thing after another needed my attention and I wasn’t able to get them cut. In drawing them, I readjusted them several times, as I wanted them to look detailed and intricate without them being actually difficult to cut.
One of my favorite ways to ‘dress up’ ornaments is by using drill holes for details. It always amazes me how much a few extra holes can add to a design. But I have learned over the years of designing that I need to be careful with the placement of the holes and regard the overall factors of strength and practicality of adding them in. Too many can make the pieces look busy, as well as weaken them and make them overly fragile.
What I decided to do for these ornaments is create traditional looking shapes and making two slotted pieces that fit together to make the ornaments dimensional.
The resulting ornament looks almost compound cut, and even though the cutting is rather easy, when the pieces are put together, the ornament looks both delicate and detailed.
I was very pleased with how these came out, as well as how simple they were to cut. The ornament shown above only has a dozen actual cut outs in each piece, making it simple and fast to do. Yet with the drilled accents it looks like it would have taken much longer.
I suppose the trickiest part of these ornaments is the actual slots. Naturally, the size of the slot will vary as much as your wood. The piece that I used was probably 3/16” or so thick, and I made sure in the pattern that the slots could accommodate a thickness even a bit beyond that without interfering in the design.
As with my own piece, I needed to adjust the width of the slot to be slightly smaller.
Naturally, I will explain how to do this all in the pattern packet. The results are nicely fitting beautiful ornaments that take probably only about 10 to 15 minutes each to cut.
Even better, they can be stack cut for more efficiency without much effort.
Here are some rough pictures of the rest that I cut:
The wood I used for them was solid birch (not plywood) I oiled them last night and did an initial clean-up sanding, but I see that they need a little touch up sanding before spraying them with lacquer finish.
I only finished six of them because with the initial set up and things it took me a little bit of time. Keith is also working on some incredible new designs and needed to cut so we cut in shifts.
Even though we have the two saws, both of us wanted to use the Excalibur for this type of cutting. It is so precise that it was pure joy to cut on it and I can’t wait to work on the other six today.
This was a great breakthrough out of the little slump for me. Between the production order of the other day and finishing up these cool ornaments, I feel like I am right back on my game again.
One thing I love is that when I am cutting, I am always thinking about other projects and plans. It seems like I get my creative juices really flowing best while I am in the process of creating another project. I can’t wait to finish these and start on the next set of ornaments that I am thinking about (and then the next, and the next!)
It will be a wonderful Sunday today and I am looking forward to using my extra hour wisely.
I hope you all have a great weekend too and enjoy the extra time that you have doing something you love. Nothing beats that!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"