Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Finally, a chance to talk about mummies.

While I'm without photo uploading abilities, let me share a couple of links. First is an excellent post on Ötzi the Iceman's kit. If you've never heard of Ötzi, he's the world's oldest natural mummy, and a wealth of information on the early European bronze age. The things he carried reflect a time of overlap between stone and bronze technology. It's interesting how little our bushcraft kits have actually changed. (thanks to Gorges Grouse for the heads-up on this.)

The second thing I'd like to mention is the discussion over on BladeForums to add a Whittling and Crafts subforum. I'm all for it of course. If you are too, then please add your voice to the discussion.

On the Wonderful Whittlin' front, I'm currently whittling up some toy horses with saddles and harness, as well as the usual armload of spike trolls. I hope to get around to making some ball-in-cage carvings too. Time will tell.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stay tuned!

I'm looking to replace my computer, and will be limited for a while as far as uploading pictures of my whittlins. Don't worry though. While blogging ops are down, real-world whittlin' ops will continue. I'll have lots of new stuff to share the next time I update.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Craft show this Sunday

This Sunday, March 20th, I'll be set up at the Flying Squirrel Community space for their 2nd annual Craft show and Zine fair. The show will be held from 11-5 at 285 Clarissa Street, Rochester NY.

Last year's show was fun, so stop by to see me if you're in the area!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ashley learns to whittle

Well I've gone and done it. I've taught someone else to whittle.

My girlfriend's sister Ashley asked if I would show her how to carve. I was more than happy to do so.

I have to say Ashley's work, a trio of spike trolls, are much, much better than my early carvings ever were. She took right to it and best of all her technique was SAFE. We focused on basic cuts, edge control, and some common grips. At no time did we have need for first aid, though I always keep a little kit close by.

Ashley's spike trolls are playful, colorful, and fun. She incorporated nice thin curls and bark shaving for beard and hair effects. I think they look great!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Shamrock bottle stoppers and other St. Patrick's Day gifts

It' s nearly time for our St. Patrick's day party! For many Americans, St. Patrick's day is Irish Mardi Gras. With their green beads, cat-in-the-hat hats, and the dreaded green beer. Not around here.

I prefer to think of it as Irish Thanksgiving. Our home will be filled with good friends, great music, and traditional Irish and Irish/American food, just like Grandma used to make. We'll serve colcannon, corned beef, ham, cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes, spicy potato soup, and enough soda bread to feed an army. There'll be vegan options for our vegan friends, and beer and whiskey for our drinking friends. Maybe even some whiskey punch.

I'm especially looking forward to playing my Grandpa's old records. From John MacCormack to the Clancy Bros & Tommy Makem, The Dubliners, the Irish Balladeers, and more, his music always reminds me of him. As the son of an Irish immigrant, St. Patrick's day was always my grandpa's favorite holiday.

Of course I'll add in my own music as well, adding the likes of Christy Moore, Planxty, and Pat Kane into the mix.

I've carved over twenty little giveaways, including harp-shaped pins, shamrocks, fridge magnets, and the pins and bottle stoppers seen here. I'm making some green spike trolls for the kids to find. I might have another idea or two, and would love to carve more gifts for our guests, but we'll have to see how the chips fly.

Monday, March 7, 2011

More Spool Carvings

More spool carvings! These four spools are destined to become bottle stoppers. All they need now is some dowels and corks. I'm pretty sure these are pine, but I'll admit my wood ID skills need honing. They carve well though, with no splitting or unexpected chipping. The wood responds well to linseed oil, giving it a waxy look and nice warm glow.

Also, my CaseXX Texas Jack knife is working out well. I favor the smaller of it's two blades for whittlin'. It's easy to control and plenty sharp.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Claddagh pin

So I decided to mend the broken carving. I sheared off the tip of a small sewing needle, then used it to reattach the broken piece. After a linseed oil soak I think it looks pretty good!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Shamrock baby spoon made it into an Etsy Treasury!

My shamrock baby spoon has been included in an Etsy Treasury! There's lots of green in this treasury, and even a Claddagh ring. Some nice items just in time for St. Patrick's Day. Check it out!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Only I didn't say fudge...

Why do carvings only break when they're almost done? Although this claddagh is no longer a "one piece carving," I am very tempted in this case to reattach the offending chip and call it macaroni. Frustrations aside, is a broken and glued carving still a whittlin? Or is it, being infected with a foreign adhesive, some lesser thing?