Friday, April 21, 2017

One Man's Trash...

I've been doing more home decor type artwork, lately. Not by any conscious choice, it's just where my mind has wandered in recent weeks and months. I'll get back to the regularly scheduled watercolors and ink drawings eventually, but for now, I'm quite content to make sawdust in ye ol' one-car garage.

After knocking out a series of art pieces for various local charity auctions and individuals affiliated (American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, MS Society and James River Basin Partnership), I've gotten back to making things more for fun and profit. Here are a few Missouri silhouettes that I recently made from shipping pallets. These are fun and no two come out the same.

More shipping pallet projects.

After you've made a new outrigger for your small skin-on-frame sailing canoe and you've cut up a half dozen shipping pallet states, you end up with quite a few offcuts in a five gallon bucket. I burned the first full bucket, but from the second, I pulled some scraps and glued up this mid century modern abstract piece. It came out nicely.

Abstract pallet wall decor art from offcuts and throwaways.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Skin-on-frame Canoe Gets an Outrigger Ama

Shaping a solid timber ama for the sailing canoe.

Just what the title says, I made an ama (secondary hull float thingy) and all the connective parts to sail my little skin-on-frame canoe to Stability Land. At eleven and half feet long and I forgot how wide, it's a right tippy little bastard under 45 square feet of canvas and needed the training wheels for comfortable sailing. Last summer, I hugged the shore much of the time, due to not really knowing when a good side gust would make me swim against my will. I only flipped it once, when paddling on my knees. It didn't take much, being very light and the floorboards being higher than I needed to have made them.

Fixing some sailing canoe stability issues.

The ama was shaped from a standard $4 8' 2x4. The struts from another $5 piece of 1x4x24. The akas/iakos/crossbars were reshaped masts from my first 8' Phil Bolger Elegant Punt sailing dinghy. The upgrades have cost me under $10 and a handful of lunch hours, so far.

Fixing some sailing canoe stability issues.

Monday, April 3, 2017

A Couple of Things from the Weekend

First up, my employer is a big fan of Southern antebellum and Civil War era history and heads off to Natchez, Mississippi each year for Fall Pilgrimage. She often takes a handful of people from the office and they basically get a 3-4 day paid and largely free vacation for a trade of about four hours of hosting tours in an old plantation home one afternoon. My wife, whom I work with, went a few years ago. She thought the place looked right up my artistic alley, so this year, I've bitten the bullet and I've volunteered to go for a few days this fall. Not being much a of a people person, I've dodged it for over four years of being employed by our advertising and marketing agency, but figured it time.

So, I'll be growing the beard out all summer to look the part of a antebellum plantation worker of the non-forced variety and I've also finally fitted a river cane stem into this old Civil War era clay pipe I've been threatening to make usable for a year and half. In spite of the crack it has along the outer left side of the bowl, it does smoke pretty decently. I had some Morning Coffee blend out of it on Friday, when I was done.

Civil War era pipe that I fit with a river cane stem this past weekend.

Secondly, my daughter, being something off an odd little duck at the age of eight and a half, loves herself some oddly morbid but cute artwork and cartoons. She asked me to do a pyrography image of a Mexican Sugar Skull and this is what I came up with. She was quite happy with it when she awoke this morning. I knocked it out after she went to bed last night.

Wood burning a pyrography and acrylic sugar skull.

Wood burning a pyrography and acrylic sugar skull.