Tuesday, March 11, 2008


It's hard for me to come up with my own designs. My furniture ideas are elements stolen from things I like, cobbled together, with as much cohesiveness that I can manage. Unless the designs are just copied outright, with no attempt at disguising them as my own.

My bench came together all in my mind though. And it matches very well the sketch I made when I came up with the idea. There are a few details that got left out of the final bench, or that got altered by "a bad cut" that had to be fixed.

My spoons follow the same kind of design. All rough sketch, rough bandsaw, and what whim takes me as I'm carving it. And usually, the ones I am most pleased with, are the ones that just take shape as I go. The current favorite is a little birch number, that has some weird crook in the handle because I took too deep of a cut right there, and had to try and fix it.

That's why I have an apple as a paperweight. I was trying to turn a round ornament (which I was going to hollow out later), and the gouge I was using pulled deeper than I wanted. And after I was done cursing myself for letting the tool get away from me, I thought it looked vaguely apple shaped, so an apple it became.

So I've been following the same sort of trend with my stump. Waiting for that crucial cut of the gouge (intended or not) to let me know what I'm doing. I think I found it this afternoon while carving. I tipped it over on it's side trying to knock off some protruding edge, and realized that I'd been cutting across endgrain so far. With the stump on its side, I was now cutting with the grain, and found it quite a bit easier.

That makes it easier to define as well. So, its going to be a coffee table base, with three 'root feet' and kind of carved arches between feet. Then I'll level off the trunk side, slap a slab of a panel on top, and shape the top edges with the drawknife and gouges. I should powerwash the base, to knock off the bark and debris, and hopefully give it that smooth weathered look.

Pictures tomorrow, its dark and late.


Alison Burtt said...

Promise you'll bring it in so I can see it when it's done?

Sidewinder Studio said...

Since I feel somewhat obligated to show it to Mark in person when I'm done, I'll be bringing it into the shop. It just may not be for months yet.

Look for it toward the end of summer, after the stump has had a good try at drying out.