Thursday, June 26, 2014


I will try to remember that on Thursdays to post a cartoon because before I got into carving it was all about the cartoons. So on TBT I will post an image or two tell the story if any and voila as they say.

I have been known to draw a lot of cartoons of every day items and give them facial expressions and try to convey what they would say if they could speak. This is one that I believe was one of the first that I did along these lines but it was way back in another life so don't quote me on that. This was one of the ones that started the whole coffee mug vs. tea mug and the mug or cup wanting one or the other. Usually it's a manly mug that can't believe someone is drinking that girly tea in it. The male ego even in a coffee mug, a true American tradition. I will admit this comes from me being given many hours of grief at different jobs drinking tea, long story.

I did recently re-create him in water color and decided he was so animated in his out rage he began to spill all over the place. I decided that he was abruptly looking up causing more of the drink to spill out the back, with drawings and carvings we need to think through the staging of the object, person, whatever it maybe to convey our message.

Maybe this guy is screaming out;

Is that vanilla I smell? REALLY! You might as well get out the tea bags if you are going to embarrass me this way in front of the other mugs!

Maybe you think he is saying something different based on your choice in the morning or maybe this is what your mug would say.

as always happy trails
Carpe diem cartooning 
every TBT

Friday, June 20, 2014

sharpening system upgrade

Well today my power strop arrived in the mail along with the drill mount and a block of buffing compound. The stropping system came with two pieces, the standard leather wheel and a  
V-shaped leather wheel for buffing inside V-tools and gouges.  Now many might just grab the first knife they come across and begin to work the blade, I chose a different path. I looked through my old carving tools so my first attempt using this new tool would not damage a good quality knife.

Even though it was an old knife I set the speed slow, and applied the buffing compound. After this I worked one side of the edge and then went to the other. Because of the way the drill mounts I found it felt better to work one side of the blade change the direction of the drill and work the other side. This allows the handle to always be free of any obstruction and the brief moment switching the drills direction had no impact on my efforts. After a few swipes on both sides of my knife I grabbed a piece of scrap wood and cut a few slices to see if it made a difference, and yes it seemed to. I also looked at the areas cut to see if they were clean cuts or if there were any issues with the blades edge.

I will slowly go through each knife and work them on the new system but will continue to use the hand held strop during carving sessions. Many carvers are like myself and have a limited amount of resources to put towards equipment so a sharpening system has never been on my radar. Now with this system and the strops I already own and use I feel like I can more properly maintain my tools and extend the life of each and every one of them. From what I have seen the brief amount of use I have gotten today I think this will show that it was well worth the investment.

as always happy trails
Carpe diem carving     

Saturday, June 7, 2014

wood spirit carving

Well I finished my cottonwood bark wood spirit and have placed it on my Etsy page. I was overall happy with how it came out. I did put a lacquer finish on the piece due to it's size and thickness on one side, hoping that this will give it a bit of strength and stability. I haven't carved that many pieces in cottonwood bark and still on the fence of how I feel about it overall.
as always happy trails
Carpe diem carving