We Remember Skip

Who wouldn’t?

I was asked to make a sign to signify that a butterfly garden within the local dog park was planted in memory of Skip, who graced our town with his succession of tiny sweet dogs. People would meet him in town, sit down for a cup of coffee, and hold a poodle until their blood pressure went down.

I chose the butterfly shape for the sign, and roughed it out to have slightly lifted wings. I cut the big angles on the band saw to save work.

I had the presence of mind to plan the mounting before I carved. This old dog can learn new tricks; I left the butterfly’s body very chunky so I could sink two screws into it. I mounted it to waste wood. Later, I used the holes in the waste wood to mark the holes in a three-foot post.

That block allowed me to clamp the work into the bench vise while I carved. I signed the raw wood although I knew that paint would cover it.

I modeled it on the Northern Metalmark because of it’s shape and colors. It’s a mostly dark butterfly, so the sign won’t compete with the flowers in the garden. The flowers are the point, not the sign. I left the top of the wings unpatterned for the lettering. My lettering was awkward. Next time, I’ll make a light-colored band, and write the lettering in sharpie, not paint.

I added a coat of acrylic varnish for shine and protection. I don’t expect this to last forever outdoors, being only basswood, but it should be alright for quite a while. It will be mounted in the dog park before it opens.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Yes, it seemed like The Project That Would Not Die, but I finished it off and delivered it. Stupidest Project Ever. I had no plan to mount it or how to attach a top surface, and I used the lopsided surface as the bottom, so it wouldn’t stand straight. And it had no real purpose. Although the log was hollow, the opening was too small for me to get my hand in there with a power tool. But it looked so promising!

Perfect base or a Lava Lamp, isn’t it?

And, at the same time, I delivered a custom nightstand. You’ve seen this in a prior blog, and now it’s done. But while I was cutting up that log, I thought, why not cut out a coordinating piece? So, here’s the nightstand, custom built to fit a 7″ wide space, and a dubiously useful … place to keep your extra eyeglasses.

Both are cut from Bartlet pear, except for the legs on the nightstand which are ipe. Yes, that’s a kind of wood and not a typo. The color is pretty, the wood is hard, and now I have fewer logs lying around. Both have two drawers. The little round drawers are large enough for eyeglasses. The top of the nightstand is cut out to hold a cup and some keys or pencils.

I’m pleased with the curves in the design, and I liked the patterns in the spalted wood of the dead trees, but I think I’ll give myself a break and not feed any more logs through the saw for a while.