Thursday, November 22, 2012

I sold a carving, you will never guess where

First let me say Happy Thanksgiving to all, this is the part of the year I love the most. This is a time of thanksgivings and blessings. I hope everyone has time to reflect on these before the mad rush of the holidays begins. 
On a carving note I am thankful for the progress I see with my carvings, but more importantly for the new and old friends I have been given through the carving community. Also for the mentor and teacher, both who have influenced my work.
Have you noticed how funny life can be? Sometimes it is funny odd and sometimes it is funny ha-ha. Well this was a funny ha-ha moment. With Christmas closely approaching we have begun to realize as we look at the new list of gift suggestions from our boys, how many things we have that are not needed and taking up space. For instance in my garage I had a full size Shopsmith and a Shopsmith mini body holding my scroll saw. Did I mention we have a one car garage. So I decided that the large Shopsmith must go, make some needed room in the garage and it wouldn't hurt to have some extra cash for the holidays either. We also have some items in the house like a box of r/c cars that we got from a yard sale that the boys no longer play with and an 8 mm projector that won’t work with our movies, they are super 8, isn't that just super. So I decided to post a few items on craigslist and see if we can make some space. To my surprise, we not only sold the Shopsmith but also the r/c cars. The funny ha-ha moment of the story was folks saw that I had some wood working items in the garage and the conversation would turn to what type of stuff I did wood working wise. Following both inquiries and showing a carving or two (I am shy that way) they purchased an ornament. The first gentleman didn't even buy the Shopsmith, just an ornament. This ironically after I sat up at a craft show at my boys school and sold nothing. Barely got glances from the people eating chili, you see it was a chili cook-off and craft show, mostly chili cook-off. So the message to take from this story, post things on craigslist and have a display of my carvings in the garage for when people come by to see the item. Even if they don’t buy the thing posted online maybe they will pick up an ornament or two. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

one more piece to the puzzle

Well I have added one more piece to the carving puzzle. Yesterday I picked up a Delta 9" band saw, used but in good enough shape to get the job done. Of course there are some minor parts that had to be ordered to get it put back together. I ordered the parts yesterday and including shipping and one or two additional accessory that is needed I will have paid more for parts than I did for the machine itself. The person I bought it from had no use for it and made it worth my taking a chance with buying it not knowing what the cost to repair would be.

On a side and more serious note the woman that had this for sale, her name is Barbara and she has lost her husband to cancer. It was his machine and she wanted it to go to someone who would use it. He was a wood carver, he was someones husband and I believe someones father. So everyone who reads my little insignificant blog, today it has a purpose. Please lift up Barbara and her family for comfort and peace this holiday season.

While we are on our knees, can we remember all those who faithfully serve to protect this country that we so dearly love. Many will be away from home this holiday season and many in harms way. Almost all of them volunteered to protect and serve. There was One other who served on our behalf, He came willing to take our place, to redeem a lost world. His humble beginnings, born in a stable, let us remember Him this holiday season. To both of you who read my blog have a Happy Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Well this weekend was a busy weekend. I got to the point where my garage had gotten way to small and it was time to make a move and so I did. My Shopsmith system with all it gadgets are now gone. I am a wood carver and even though it was a great system it was more then I will ever use. I also found that the band saw for the Shopsmith, which was my main interest in the system, was anything but efficient and accurate for cutting rough cuts. So I posted it on Craigslist Friday evening at an extremely reasonable price and by Sunday afternoon early it was gone. I still have my Shopsmith mini and that is not going any where.

A little side note, if you have something for sale you need to ask yourself some basic questions. What do I have in it, how bad to I want it out of my house and how fast do I want it gone. Too many people have unrealistic ideas on either how much something is worth or how fast something should sell. If you want big money for something you might have to sit on it for awhile and if you want to get it gone you can put a fair and reasonable price without giving it away. I sold my Shopsmith for more than I paid for it but could have gotten more but wanted it gone, Christmas is coming and I wanted a cushion.

Also this weekend one of the gentlemen who showed interest in my Shopsmith had some wood gouges that he ended up selling to me, yeah I had something for sale and I ended up buying or should I say trading instead. I had a second Shopsmith band saw and I traded it for twelve Swiss made gouges, hooray. And a great reminder why I am happy to be earning my way into the carving community, my mentor down in SC Mark Akers (my mentor extraordinaire) offered his help in restoring my tools if I needed it. Shortly after that a carving buddy and carving teacher up in Williamsburg, Bob Soderholm invited me up not to carve this time but to sharpen some tools, twelve to be exact.  I have to give a big thank you to the both of them for offering their help once again.

 My experience is this, I have done graphics in the past and now am back to carving and I can without any hesitation say that the carving community is the most welcoming and helpful group of guys and gals that you would ever want to associate with, and recruiting members daily. There is always room for one more carver at the table.
So as you see this was a busy but wonderful past few days. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dapper Dan the snowman color

So here he is with color, orange nose and a burgundy-ish pipe. I was happy with the look of the hat band and that top hat itself. I tried to not give it a completely even covering to make it look like an older hat. I haven't added eyes or the buttons and not sure if I will. Some have said it looks good like it is some have said he at least needs the buttons for the shirt. Not sure which I prefer so for now will leave it just like it is. I think the next snowman I try will be to carve the snowman cartoon sledding down the hill. I think if done right this one could come out really cool.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dapper Dan the snowman

If anyone has looked at the “Dapper Dan” link you would have seen my snowmen cartoons. Yes I do like snowmen, winter and of course Christmas. This previous spring I played around with the wood lathe and while learning this new craft I made a snowman. This was a turning point for me because even though I was happy with the snowman I wasn't happy with how stiff he looked. This made me realize that even though wood turning was enjoyable, carving was a greater passion for me and this would plunge me back into carving and to where I am today. So recently I decided to carve this snowman some essentials that all snowmen need. I carved him a carrot nose and a pipe. In all my cartoons that one that have pipes don’t have corncob pipes but instead a traditional pipe, one that a child would borrow from his father to give to a needy snowman.

So here is the unpainted version of Dapper Dan the snowman, eat your heart out frosty.