Thursday, July 9, 2009


I was giving and award on July 3 2009.

The award was presented to me by the extremely talented doll artist Jodi Creager.
Thank you so much Jodi!

The rules are, I have to pick up a book that I have at hand, turn to page 161 and write the fifth sentence on that page here. Then pass the Award onto five other bloggers.

The book I'm currently reading is a technical manual for Windows server 2008. I will not bore you with that, so the last book I read will have to suffice. Let's see page 161 and the 5 line say's ...."Oh, to the other side of the West-end". Good luck figuring that one out.

I would like to recognize a few good friends I've made online:

A talented fabric artist and funny friend. I know you'll love her pillows and accessories as much as I do.

Candice is a fellow Texan with a unique sense of humor and a gift for crime scene photography. I just love her dead fairies!
Gypsy Trading Company

The first person I met online and can call a friend is an avid model horse collector and creator of fantastic scenes for horses and dollhouses!
Golden Unicorn Miniatures

Joyce is a miniature clay artist. She forms all her pottery by hand, no wheels involved here. She make the best vases and bowls!
Mostly Art

Tom is a fellow turner who lives in Canada. He does amazing work with stone. His selection of materials and the finish he imparts to them is inspiring to see.
Turnings In Miniatures

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I have been tagged

I have been tagged by Joyce, the awesome potter, of Mostly Art. ♥ Here is her blog: .

This is how being tagged works:

1. Name and link back to the person who tagged you. (See above.)

Be sure to visit Joyce's blog. She is a fantastic potter! All of her pottery is shaped, molded and carved by hand. She does not use a wheel. Her miniature scale dollhouse pottery is awesome!

So this is how tag works:

1. Name and link back to the person who tagged you.
See above. Be sure to visit Joyce's blog.

2.List 6 unimportant things that make you happy.

•My second cup of coffee in the morning.
•The gentle hum of my lathe
•The smell of hickory smoke
•Chatoyance in a nice piece of wood
•Being able to help someone
•Knowing how to fix almost anything.

3. Tag 6 bloggers and let them know by leaving a comment on their blogs. Off to go tag some friends.

Note: If I tag you and you don't want to participate, I won't be upset. I understand that we all have busy lives and you might not have time for this. ♥

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Time is fleeting........

I've been so busy with ideas lately nothing seems to get finished. I've got four tables in various stages, two flintlock pistols that need their brass butt ends figured out and some patio furniture that just needs sanding. I haven't turned many vases lately, but do need to shoot and list some I turned last month. My distraction projects have started to take over more than just my free time.

There's the gunsmith shop that needs so much attention, the aging process on the building ate up too much time last week, (stain takes 8+ hrs to dry). While waiting, I started another bench. I don't need another one for it. Maybe I'll bash it into a work table for a cabinet makers shop,..... now I'm gonna have to make one of those too?

The tables as of now are...
  1. Texas ebony tilt top with pedestal and pad foot. The top is book matched and has great figure.
  2. Big leaf maple burl tilt top with pedestal and pad foot.
  3. Black walnut and maple chess board inlaid in a mahogany top with a walnut pedestal and pad foot. It's a drum style with two drawers.
  4. A Herman Miller coffee table Designed by Isamu Noguchi. It's black walnut and acrylic.
All are so close to finished, I wonder why I haven't yet.....

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The right tools

It just amazes me what a difference the right tool can make.

I started making miniatures on a lathe around three years ago. I found out real quick I would have to make my own tools to get the really fine details I was after. The mini and micro tools offered for lathe work were just too large for what I had in mind. If the piece I'm working on is less than an 1" in height and only 1/2" wide then beads or coves need to be less than a 1/16" in radius. The smallest beading tool or gouge I could find was an 1/8", twice as big as needed, so I've ended up making most of the tools I use now. I'm a turner by choice but a miniaturist at heart.

I love trying new thing. Something out of my comfort range, but only slightly. I doubt I'll do any food or dolls, there's no wood involved. Unless I wrap polymer clay around a dowel and call it a cake. Nope, not going to happen.

I have had a little success with 1/12 scale miniature weapons IE: guns, knives, lances and a sword. The sword kinda sucked really. Maybe because there was no wood involved in it. My first gun, a Brown Bess, was great fun. It was just for me, to see if I could pull it off. The joy of trying to figure everything out is kinda like putting together a puzzle. It came out pretty good. The second was a British Baker rifle, it's about ten times better. Partly do to the experience from the first and partly do to the pressure of trying to please a customer. I honestly believe some of the new tools I acquired help as well. I recently inherited a master carvers work shop. All the knives any woodworker would need. He had some of the finest blades money could buy. There is a large assortment of mini and micro sculpting gouges and chisels as well. The difference they made in refining the stock definitely shows in the piece. The fact he was a master at his craft shows in the sharpness of the tools. I wish I had taken some of his time and have him teach me how to properly hone an edge. My edges are okay, but his are beyond razor sharp.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I found a new drug.

What is it about making miniatures that's so addictive?
I love turning, the hum of the motor when I fire up the lathe, the blur of the piece as it spins in front of me. It's kinda of hypnotic. There's a point when the vibration of the tool against the work disappears and the shaping starts. For me there's nothing quite like it, or so I thought.
Turning can also be monotonous, if you just keep turning out the same thing over and over. Sometimes I'll mix it up with some full size pieces and have done some really funky shapes. Turning different materials helps break it up as well. I don't really care for acrylics but love to do a little stone. I think I need some more alabaster or soapstone blocks.

Every now and then I like to tackle what I call a distraction project. These take me away from the lathe for a short time and keep me busy learning new materials and techniques. My latest was a 1/12 scale Baker rifle, the famous weapon the British used during the Napoleonic war. I had never heard of it and had to do a lot of research. The level of detail I was able to achieve even amazes me. It turned out really well. I enjoyed this project to no end and can't wait to work on more antique weapons.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Still don't like it.

I hate staining wood. I guess its better than painting it, even though I enjoy painting.

I don't normally stain my work, I like the wood to speak for it self. There is such character in wood grain and I try and select the most interesting I can find. My current project requires very dark aged walnut. I've had some success in the past with adding a painted patina and that would work this time as well. The trouble is, it needs to be as authentic as possible and a light wash of paint over the many different materials involved just wouldn't hold up and age properly.

I guess the real question is does it even matter? The tiny things I make just sit around and collect dust. In time your not going to be able to tell the difference. Unless it's handled a lot and rubbed, then the paint would peel and reveal the hidden little errors. The added time to do things right the first time can make all the difference. So I've taken the time to use filler and stain the wood. Then it's time for more sanding and a five stage finish. I hope this piece is looked at and held often....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This seems a little strange.....

I made a beautiful alabaster pedestal bowl a couple weeks ago. I used Italian white crystal alabaster for the bowl and manzanita root burl for the pedestal foot. Nice contrast between the two. I managed to thin the bowl down far enough to have it translucent.

I should have been pleased, but it lacked in execution. There is a small raised spot on the flat bottom. It shouldn't have a flat bottom and of course no raised spots either. I employed a mortise and tenon joint to attach the two together. the joint worked fine but I cut the bowl to shallow and left a collar of stone around the wood. The stone fractured around the collar and left tiny jagged fragments.

It's small, just not miniature. The bowl diameter is 1.5" that's too big for my current scale of work.
In 1/12 scale it would be 18" and just under a foot tall.

After it sat in the craft room for a couple weeks, I brought it out for a peer review. I pass everything by my wife and family first. Mostly for the ego boost they give me. I know their a little biased. Anyway, Elaine is at least honest and tells it to me straight and if she likes something really well she keeps it. The bowl was well received but with reserved praise. While holding it up to a light source to check the transparency of it, a light went on in my head......