Friday, February 27, 2015

Red Herring

Suddenly, something's a little fishy about this design. Sometimes I start with an orientation in mind, in this case a landscape. Along the way, there arrives a point where it starts to look better as a portrait (or vice versa).  The turquoise is a mix of three blues that just may have to be used again, probably with an ebony under stain and a hint of metallic.

Because of the abstraction, I'm not sure this qualifies as a visual pun, but it is what it is, a herringbone design in red. Some of the bricks had a tiny amount of red and yellow already on them, so I painted the rest to match. The turquoise is a mix of three blues that just may have to be used again, probably with an ebony under stain and a hint of metallic.

The main body panel is 12" on the short side, with the breakout pieces adding an extra ten inches to that dimension. 




Again, I started with a 2" slab of plywood as my surface. The overall stretch is 42"x49". There is a little bit of distortion in this photo.



Sweetheart Table

French Knot

I jumped into this one with a bit of ambition. There were going to be two knots, with a splash of movement to connect them. The measurements came back a bit too table sized. Trimming happens in all kinds of places.

Better still, At this size it remains a table for two.

At 20.5"x29.75" this is made from salvaged lath and pallet wood


A long time ago, in a camp far far away, I earned a merit badge in weaving. The final test was to create a mat from cat tail reeds that could support your weight for some number of seconds. Two other boys would grab opposite sides, and you would sit on it and pray that this would not be an embarrassing situation.

This shot clips the fact that the long pieces that stick out continue to their natural ends. The block is 14" tall by 19" wide, and the pattern is mounted to a slab of 2" plywood. I didn't even know it came that thick. You can see a concept brewing off in the corner.


I hear it looks good on canvas.
a different kind of landscape


herringbone wood lath
Instagram shot!

Familiar Structure

Someone told me once that, "repetition is the foundation of clarity." It was an eye opener then, and as it turns out, it really is an eye opener.

The human eye loves patterns. So, as an homage to some of the repetitive decorations that have stood the test of time I decided to try my hand at some of those proven patterns. First up, herringbone.

Dealing with a standardized piece made the assembly go fairly smooth. It was making so many of the same that was the exercise. It turned out to be the good reminder to pay attention to posture. 

At 48"x19" the ends have been left in a state so that the pattern could continue. Just another building block to be snapped into place, or was this ripped from some doomed site? A different form of architectural salvage, made from architectural salvage. 

With a bit of polyurethane it could make a nice bar top, finished at the edges of course. As for now, I like the idea of making another one... or two.


I really like the soft, natural tones of this lath. I always cringe just before committing to color. Here's a look into the layering process.

Knowing that most of the paint will just get sanded off, I'm pretty loose about where it lands. After the sanding, it was oiled. Then I took a small brush of ebony stain into the recessed triangles.

I thought it was done, but the can of wax is whispering.

My First Table

This took longer than it should have. I was attaching the last side board, when it split. I waited for weeks for the right type of pallet to fit that spot.  71.5" x 24.25"

Just before oiling... (and rotated, apparently)
I could have stopped here. It's like straw!


Canvas Prints

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Lath Laugh

I bit the bullet, and finally tackled my entire pile of dirty lath. I strung the scrubbing out over a few days, and even had a little fun with the drying process. With that roadblock out of the way, I can really get into some of the bigger pieces I have planned.

In each of these, the lath is mounted to another piece of unaltered, salvaged wood. Three of the compositions use varying lengths of 2x12, and the last image in this list is tacked to 1/2" ply.

Except for the frame, Good Fences(below) is lath in its natural, clean state. All other works have been brushed with linseed oil.

Good Fences 12x19.75
Since the house that I pulled these boards from was just down the alley, I thought an homage to neighbors was in order. (There was a beautiful wrought iron fence post in that yard, but I just couldn't get it out of the ground).

Family Tree 12x38
In most instances in woodworking the knot is an undesirable attribute. Knots form in a variety of ways; this one is partially encased (also called 'loose'), and most often happens when the tree grows around a dead branch. An intergrown knot is the base of a living branch. I've chosen to highlight this one for what it really is, growth in a new direction.

Desert Scene 12x21

...because who doesn't like clues that hint to ancient civilizations being so much better at things that we can't even comprehend? The high technology of the Stone Age, presented in wood!

Speaking of dry, I decided to be a little more free from the constraints of rectangles with this cocktail inspired piece.

Shaken, Not Stirred, 18x28.5

This piece does not actually float freely in space, though I am working on a model that does. Eleven elements of SNS are held in place by compression force only, no nails or glue. So far, changes in humidity haven't had any discernible affect.

I could really tighten up those gaps if I started sanding and planing. However, that process is a dust storm I'd rather avoid for now. Though, I do see future works being painted and stained (which means sanding).

And, I finally set up a winter work bench in the garage today. My next panel, made from pallet planks and shipping crate pieces, is ready at 22.5x70. Time to get to work.