Monday, January 8, 2018

Week 1 Project

My project for this week was decorating my wooden stool seat that had been water damaged.  I had previously drawn the design I wanted on it and started wood burning before it sat neglected on my drafting table which had become a dumping ground rather than a work surface.  I knew that it would take a bit of time to finish this project but I have to say that I completely underestimated it. Thankfully I started early in the week on Monday, January 1 instead of my normal procrastination or else I would not have gotten it done or be very happy with the mediocre outcome. 

Starting the wood burning again.

I have a Burnmaster ‘HAWK – 110V” high power wood burner.  My father-in-law generously donated the funds to purchase this equipment for the very small repayment of wood burning a walking stick for him.  I do believe I have a few more projects I should do for him.  This wood burner has a heat adjuster that controls the temperature of the pen.  I have found that when wood burning for long periods of time, the handle of the implement gets very hot and I need to wrap the handle with a towel or some sort of buffer.  Someday I will find a silicon glove or hand mitt that I can use while burning which still allows me some dexterity in movement. 

I have a bad habit of leaning really really close to my work.  I had a crinked neck for most of the week.

Wood burning is done by burning the wood with a hot piece of metal.  The hotter the metal, the quicker it burns a hole.  The density of the wood also affects the quality of the burn.  If you leave the pen in place too long, it will just create a hole rather than a line.  It takes a bit of practice but becomes fairly easy when you get the hang of it.  Burning creates a small amount of smoke and the room always smells like a nice campfire when I’m working.  Burning also creates ash which can build up on the pen tip and impede the burning of the wood.  A trick I learned when I worked at Dutch Village as one of their artists and wood burned names on various tourist trinkets and wooden shoes (among other art projects) was to wipe the tip on a piece of sand paper.  The sand on the paper scrapes off the ash as well as prevents the paper from catching on fire.

Cleaning off the pen tip.  The “freckles” are from when I let the tip rest a touch too long.

I finished the wood burning in two sessions.  My hand gets too hot and stiff to finish it in one go.  It took about 4 hours total for the wood burning to be completed.  I went slow and tried to make my lines firm and tidy.

Quitting for the night, after about 3 hours of burning.
Whooo Hooo!!  Done with step 1 of 3!

Next was painting!
I got out all the colors that I thought I would use and started in an easy place, the sunflowers and daisy.  While I know that my flowers are not realistic, I did want them to be believable.  Thus I started with the sunflowers for easy decisions.

It looks like I’m going to paint piglet somewhere on the stool.

I really enjoyed painting but it took me about 10 hours to complete.  Ironically, the first flowers I started were the last ones I finished.  I got the petals done no problem but I got stuck on the centers.  I decided to wood burn them and paint them rather than just burn the whole middle. 

My workspace is a mess but the stool top is finished!

Step 2 of 3 done!  Now it just needs to be sealed so off to my dad it goes.

Part of finishing a project is cleaning up the mess.  I spent a half hour or so putting all the paint supplies away, packing up the wood burner from which I had to wipe a layer of dust off and finally tidying my drafting table.  I wiped down all the surfaces, reorganized my supplies, and added another plant.  Never too many plants in one room of course and it keeps the air clean.  Now I can say I have successfully completed week 1!  Yay me! 

Ok, Now onto week 2’s goal.  I have several items that need to be mended or altered.  One of them is a skirt that I want to fix for my sister Deb.  She gave me the skirt last summer because, although she really liked it, it was too big for her.   I am… ahem…. both her big sister and bigger sister and so she gave it to me.  It is a cute skirt but I thought I would alter it to fit her and give it back.  She lives in Utah and will be visiting Michigan this week so I am going to measure her and get this skirt done and back to her.  I know that I will probably have to mail it to her but I am determined to at least get her measurements when I see her this week.

Cute little Debby skirt and you can see my clean drafting table!

The other two items both have zipper issues.  One of my favorite skirts that is very flattering on me regardless of current weight and a 100% cotton sweater with a hood both need help.  The sweater has been in the mending pile for well over a year and the skirt is a much more recent addition of about a month.  Zippers are scary.  Well, not really but they are a lot of work and I just have to sit down and DO it knowing that I am not great at them and sometimes it doesn’t come out as well as I would like.  So this will be a test of if I can get them fixed or if they get flung.

Zipper has several broken / missing teeth,
probably from when I tried to pull it off without having the zipper all the way down.

I got this sweater with the zipper in trouble already but now it is hopeless.

Well, this week the seam ripper comes out, the zipper stash gets raided in hopes of a correct length and color zipper and we shall see if these clothes can be made useful again.  If not, well then flung it shall have to be.  I do know that I will have to monitor my time well as I have lots of things going on this week including teaching a dance class for the next two weeks at a local high school for winter interim.  This will fill my afternoons and with my evenings filled with volleyball games, meetings for events that I coordinate and visiting my family in another town, I will have to get really intentional with my time.  Let’s see how bad I want it.

One last shot… I’m pretty happy with it.

No comments:

Post a Comment