Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sometimes, I tell the wood pile what it’s going to be. Sometimes, it tells me.

I’ve had this piece of reclaimed cedar in my wood pile for quite some time. But, it had a huge bow in it.  If you don’t work with wood, then I’ll tell you, we like nice flat pieces of wood….not ones that curve all on their own.  I can’t slide that through a carving machine, and it’s incredibly difficult to work with.
That being said, I decided something had to be done with it, because I’m all about eco-friendly and if that cedar tree had to be cut down for wood planks, than the least I can do is turn it’s bowed self into something pretty.  I can’t just toss it out.
So, I get this idea to carve a tree.  Yep, curly, whirly tree.  I copy the drawing onto a piece of wood, and then start the scroll sawing adventure.
I’ve gotten pretty good at this scroll sawing thing, it’s like the scroll saw and I have become one.  I know when to turn, when it’s going to fight with me, and when it’ll run smoooooth. Oh, yeah.  I can tell by the grain pattern if the scroll saw will try to jump or fuss.  This is important if you are going to try to cut something out as intricate as this tree.
So, cut, I did.  Just as soon as I got a section done, I realized the wood was getting caught on the plate.  Ugh.  So, I removed the part of the board that wasn’t part of the end design.
This is where I went wrong.
First of all, it would have been better to leave the wood on, and just use painter’s tape to keep it in place until I was finished.  Because what followed was….
I’m turning the board, trying to make these curls, and I’m not paying attention to the other side of the board that’s already done.  Why would I?  It’s already done.
But, see, now that part got caught on the plate, and…..
Yep, cracked off, it did.
This upset me.  It’s upsetting to painstakingly get something like this done and perfect and then have it crack off just because you don’t have two sets of eyes.
I need more eyes!!
Secondly, well, it’s also, apparently, difficult to scroll saw a piece of wood that has a bow in it.  Who knew?
Probably lots of people, but not me.
Suffice it to say, cracks in limbs happened several more times, but I figure, it’s a learning process, right?  So, I keep going.  I get it done.
It’s glued, sanded, and awaiting a second coat of polyurethane right now, and will join the myriad of other items strewn across this house as first tries I couldn’t part with.  I’m lucky that my husband doesn’t mind the artistic rejects I don’t feel comfortable selling.
Oh, and I added birds.  Because trees need birds.  That’s just the way it is.

There will be more trees, and some for sale on Etsy.  I just have to hone the skillz, and find the right board.
Something good came out of it all – artwork for our home.  And, also a cat and some birds that you will find on Etsy in the next week or so.  Sometimes I tell the wood it’ll be a tree, and then it tells* me, “Ya, but I’m going to be a cat and some birds, too.”  I see things in wood now.  It’s strange, quirky, and I like it.
* Note to reader: The wood doesn’t actually talk to me.

No comments:

Post a Comment