Showing posts with label handmade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label handmade. Show all posts

Friday, 4 July 2014

Self Sorting (sorta) Bin

I stumbled across this neat little hardware organiser on Craftster and just had to share. It fascinated me for it's simplicity of construction and the fact that it can be adapted and utilised for other bits 'n' bobs that need organising and separating in the craft world.

This was created by a guy who goes by the name of  Wulf  working as a theatrical prop builder and from Toronto. Although this design is fairly basic to look at you could go to any lengths with the woodwork to make it look fancy.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Making Wooden Kitchen Spoons and Similar Utensils

Wooden Spoons 'Hidden' in Trees

I Came across this interesting excerpt from:  Garden Farm Skills. Gene Longsdon (1985) 
A foraging skill I have yet to perfect myself but thought it was well worth sharing. If readers would like to add their own opinions  and experiences on this article, it would be much appreciated.

"There are only two little secrets to making spoons, ladles, and forks out of wood. The first is that you don’t carve the spoon from a block of wood; rather, you find a branch with a spoon in it.
Nothing mysterious about that advice. A proper spoon or ladle must have a curve in the handle to be designed for easy use — those straight-handled wooden spoons you can buy cheap are almost unusable except to stir with. You might be able to steam bend a straight piece of wood to the proper curve, but that would be hard work. What you dare not do is cut the curve into a piece of wood across the grain. Such a spoon easily breaks. Therefore, when he is cutting firewood or when he is in the woods, a spoon maker keeps a sharp eye out for branches that have a natural curve in them to make the curved handle. It becomes, in fact, great sport to find the spoons in the wood.
Then there’s the second secret. Having once found a proper branch or crotch, never carve your spoon from the very center of it. Again, that would make a very weak spoon. Instead, cut the branch in two along the centre line and carve a spoon in each half where the grain is thick enough, width-wise, to make a strong handle.
Rough out the spoon with a handsaw or, if available, a band saw or table saw. In fact, I do most of the rougher carving on the band saw, cutting away little by little, with my eye on the grain of the wood, which determines the curve of the handle, until the spoon begins to appear. I even roughly shape the bowl on the band saw.
Carve out the rest with a sharp knife and perhaps hollow out the spoon bowl with a chisel or gouge. Because I have a drill press at my disposal, I do most of the finish carving with a rasp bit, especially nice for hollowing out the bowl and rounding the bottom. I level, balance, and thin the spoon down to proper proportion, trusting my eye rather than measuring. I rasp and look, rasp and look, making sure that the drill press is so set that it cannot rasp down through the spoon bowl and out the bottom. I finish up with pocketknife and sandpaper.
Walnut is the best of the good hardwoods for carving because it carves easily despite its hardness. White oak is harder to carve but I like it — especially if it is a branch that is beginning to deteriorate just a little. Unusual markings, and often unusual colors, will show up in the finished piece. But almost any wood will do. A spoon is an easy evening’s work. The ones pictured here took only an hour each to make — once I found a proper piece of wood.


Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Chinese Leaf Carvings

Meticulously Handcrafted Chinese Leaf Carvings

What you see below are custom crafted, hand-cut illustrations on dried and treated Chinar leaves. The process involves removing the thin layers of leaf while keeping the vein structure intact.

As the name suggests, leaf carving consists of literally carving an image on to a tree leaf, specifically the leaf of the Chinar tree, a tree native to India, Pakistan and China that bears a close resemblance to the leaf on the maple tree.
"This is a relatively new art form according to Dean Prator, a man in Los Angeles who sells customized carved leaves online. And that's amazing, considering art has been around since the dawn of humanity and trees have been around even longer. "As far as I can tell, it goes back to 1994, when an artist name Huang Tai Shang created this and got in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Creating leaf art is a long and complex process. Leaves are put through a 60 step process such as, manually cutting and removing the outer surface of the leaf while leaving the leafs veins intact which add detail into the subject matter of the carving. Pressing, curing and dying are also just a few of the steps needed to prepare the leaf. 

After special processing, the leaf blade forms a natural permanent pigment, so the colour is stable, and corrosion resistant. An anti-aging treatment helps the leaves exceed the durability of thick paper. The size of these leaves vary since no two leaves are exactly the same. Each leaf is approximately 8 to 10 inches in size. The finished product is strong, durable, natural and beautiful.


Saturday, 18 January 2014

The 'Waste Less' Chair by Architecture Uncomfortable Workshop

The ‘Waste Less’ chair by Architecture Uncomfortable Workshop is a totally unique chair built from timber off cuts, this was the scrap wood from whole logs which had been milled to make structural beams.

By re-positioning the four substantial looking clamps each side of the seat you can alter the  layout of the timber sections. Each piece held together by heavy weight recessed hinges, turning it from a conventional chair into a reclining chair

or back into it's 'rolled up' position.

Presumably in it's closed position this innovative piece of furniture could easily be rolled into a corner or lifted away with the side clamps. I think when not in use I would be tempted to stand it on end and use it as a plant stand.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

What's Inside this Box ?

When I was first shown this box I didn't think too much of it, what was all the fuss about? 
OK It looks nice, a good quality bit of joinery by the looks of it. But this is no ordinary timber chest. Full information about the maker, plus link can be found at the end of this post.

Gather round, lets take a look inside   :-)

Hmm, intriguing, it seems to be full of wooden slats !

Shaped posts to keep the box's lid vertical.

Time to get unpacking

Every piece has a purpose

The carrying handles are removed to allow the box to extend

Hinged concertina style sides move into position.

Extra battening for strength.

And hey presto .....

A bed in a box !!!

This Box-bed was created and designed by Robert MacPherson to fit a rather strange niche.

Medieval re-enactor MacPherson designed this knockdown bed to be used during his extended trips to Pennsic, an annual event that gathers more than 10,000 re-enactors and medieval enthusiasts for two weeks of life in the Middle Ages. It is typical for campers at the event to construct elaborate campsites, knockdown beds and furniture that are easy to transport.

The majority of the project is made of select pine; the panels are birch plywood. The finish is semi-gloss polyurethane.

The lock and most of the hinges were hand made out of necessity, as the dimensions MacPherson needed were unavailable. He used 16 gauge steel to form each piece, applying a blue-grey oxide finish with a torch and finishing with polyurethane to prevent corrosion.

"I did use screws to make things easier on myself," MacPherson admits. While the use of threaded fasteners wasn't feasible until the late 15th century, he "never intended this to be a pure project. Broadly speaking, this bed-box is to medieval as steampunk is to Victorian."

According to MacPherson, the most difficult and rewarding part of the build was ensuring that all of the unfolding, interlocking, and movable pieces worked in conjunction. "I have pages of notes, sketches, and a 1/6 scale model," exclaims MacPherson. "Most of them represent dead ends, but it's all part and parcel to a prototype."

MacPherson's work resulted in a stowable unit that weighs about 100 pounds and can be brought to a medieval camping event, equipped with a futon mattress and unfolded to become a full-sized bed fit for medieval royalty.


Monday, 9 December 2013

Upside Down Willow Chair by Floris Wubben

When I first saw an image of this chair I was confused, naturally assuming the legs to be seperate from the seat as in a normal chair build and then becoming fascinated the more I learnt.

This chair by Dutch designer Floris Wubben  was made by binding and splinting the branches of a willow tree, forcing them to grow into four legs. 

A seat and backrest were then cut into the trunk and the whole thing inverted.

This chair is made of a (inverted) willow tree. The legs have been obtained by twisting and splinting its branches and letting it dry into the final shape. The seat and back were naturally kept in line with the bole’s silhouette. This project had been put in practice jointly with the artist Bauke Fokkema.

I've seen a lot of willow art from dutch designers recently, with the willow loving water side growing conditions I guess this is no surprise.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Shed of the Year 2013

Fighting fierce competition from over 1,900 creative garden dens, the Boat Roofed shed, owned by Sheddie Alex Holland from Machynlleth in mid Wales, has been crowned the winner of the 2013 Shed of the Year competition sponsored by Cuprinol.

Alex Holland comments: “I am absolutely delighted to have won the 2013 Shed of the Year competition sponsored by Cuprinol. The standard and creativity shown by the other entrants has been incredible so I am genuinely surprised to have reached the top spot! With the £1,000 prize from the sponsors Cuprinol I intend to buy a second hand 400w 12v wind turbine to augment the solar panel to give me enough electricity to make ice in the fridge for gin and tonics, and to ensure the cider and beers are always chilled. I’ll then be able to have a proper party to celebrate with those who have supported me in getting so far.”

The 14ft (4m) by 7ft (2m) structure is already solar powered with a gas cooker, fridge, sink and sound system used for parties. He charted the development of his project on Facebook
Mr Holland acquired the boat from his work at a boatyard and built the shed out of a need for more space.He has said it is full of "nautical nonsense befitting a boat turned upside down" in the Cambrian Mountains.

This year’s winner was selected by a high profile judging panel including Channel 4 property presenter Sarah Beeny, British designer, writer and television presenter Kevin McCloud, Shed of the Year founder Uncle Wilco and 2012 winner John Plumridge.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Wooden Lathed Lamp Shade

I Stumbled Upon this great little film showing a lampshade being made on a lathe, Initially I thought 'what a waste of wood' but it is fast growing pine which was going to be firewood and the waste is the centre poor quality sap wood.

I would love to tell you more info, thickness of the shade, how many different timbers has he tried etc etc so if anybody knows please leave a comment   :-)

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Driftwood Delirium

There is something truly magical about driftwood as a material, totally unique and crafted by nature, the action of time, tide, sun and wind doing the work equivalent to many man hours of labour with sandpaper and tools which mother nature considerately delivers to your local beach as an art form in itself.

What happens now to this amazing material leaves many a coastal artist imbued in a fresh deluge of creative juices upon each new find.

Boys Day Out

The life sized Horses from sculptor Heather Jansch.

Interesting sculpture at Saint-Anne-des Monts Driftwood Festival Quebec

There is so much driftwood at Saint-Anne-des Monts that they have a driftwood festival every year where many carved pieces can be found around the town.

Three Men

Piano 2

Rikki Carette is a sculptor who gathers his materials from the Devon & Cornwall coast England. This Eco minded fellow cleverly combines two businesses, operating as Cleancoast Services keeping our shore lines tidy and using much of the collected wood for his quirky and comical sculptures available at Cleancoast Sculptures.



Also in England is Julia Horberry from Cornwall operating as Julia's Driftwood Furniture, her style of art being functional, she works from her workshop perched at the top of her garden and describes herself as 'one very happy girl'   :)

Driftwood Candle Holder

Driftwood Chair

Driftwood Mirror

Paul A. Baliker from Palm Coast Florida is a very talented sculptor sometimes working on a huge scale who endeavours to capture a moment in wood that expresses potential for a symbiotic relationship with nature.

A Matter of Time

Oceans 11th Hour

Just a tiny selection of the amazing art out there using driftwood, so next time you are walking along the beach and spot some driftwood let your imagination run wild and think of the potential in this 'junk of the ocean'   :)