Sunday, September 25, 2011


It seemed like such a long journey to get to the point where all the parts of the crib were completed. Although it took a tremendous amount of handwork to sand every surface and edge of the crib so that it was smooth and would not present any sharp edges to my granddaughter it seemed that the time to sand, paint and assemble the crib was a relatively short period of time.

So here is the finished product. Unfortunately, the crib looks blue in this picture but it is actually white. My wife used a spray on lacquer to give the crib a smooth professional look. She bought the white lacquer at Home Depot it is Tremclad brand. Also, the lacquer is very hard and very durable. It is designed to take a lot of use and abuse.

Here you can see the correct color. It is a very clean looking white.

I used an attachment system where a nut is driven flush to the surface of the post in a pre-drilled hole. The components, the nuts and the bolts were purchased at Lee Valley. I glued together two pieces of maple to give a 1 1/2 inch thickness for the base of the mattress to sit on. I used 1 1/2 inches because any flex in the base would still be supported by the ends. After cutting the pieces to length I used a Forstner bit to create a clearance hold for the bolt to pass through the support and thread into the nut inside the post. This creates an extremely secure and strong joint that can be taken apart. The only improvement I would make is not to put the attachment hole so close to the side of the crib that it made it difficult to turn the bolt in and tighten it.

But all in all, there it is. I hope that it will contain my granddaughter for at least a few years. If she keeps growing at the current rate she may quickly outgrow it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Yesterday, Saturday, September 10, 2001, I went to the Locke street festival in Hamilton. It is an annual street festival that has been running for some years now. It is the first time that my wife and I have gone. We decided that it was a good idea to take some time off from our projects, my crib for example, and have some fun. We met our daughter and granddaughter at the festival and spent the time with them.

Wood earrings

There were many different stalls, people selling clothes, jewelery, food. The picture above was of a vendor who sold wood earrings. It gave me some ideas to make some. I have plenty of small pieces of wood I could turn into earrings.

Lucha Libre Masks
I included this picture one because it is colorful but also to show the variety of items that were being sold yesterday. These Lucha Libre masks that Mexican wrestlers wear when they are wrestling.

More wood earrings
These are earrings from another vendor who also sold wood earrings. There may be something here. I will definitely have to give this some thought.

There was also plenty of music at the festival. We listened to jazz, rock, country and choir a lone singer in the middle of the street and this young lady playing the harp. There was music for just about every taste.

The Road Runner?
Here is a picture of my daughter introducing my granddaughter to, I think, the Road Runner. At least she didn't cry.
View of crowd a the festival
As a parting shot, here is a overview of the crowd at the Locke Street Festival. as you can see it was a solid mass of people. I think it was a success and we had lots of fun. I certainly plan to attend again next year.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


I have five new pieces that I have completed. Actually, some of them are pieces that I started some time ago and came back to them recently to finish them. At least one of the pieces I set aside because I could not make up my mind on how I was going to finish the piece. The others, I just did not get around to finishing them. I wanted to have some pieces to put on Etsy so I finished these five pieces.

Composition #1 (15X10 inches)
This piece I call Composition #1. It grew out of the idea of contrasts. I want to use different pieces of wood that would evoke the idea of contrasts. I chose pieces of birch that were very clear. I contrasted pieces of light and dark birch. On the left hand side I used pieces of plywood that I had cut into slices to contrast the striations of the light and dark areas of the plywood against the clarity of the birch. I liked the idea because it creates a sense of tension in the contrast. Also, I feel a sense of musical movement descending in tone from left to right.

The next three pieces are similar in the sense that they are composed of rectangles of wood that were cut consecutively  from the same piece of wood. The patterns were creating by arranging the pieces in an order that made sense to me or resonated at some psychic level.

Transitions (6X10 inches)
I called this piece Transitions. The pattern is created from defects in the end grain of the wood. The pattern flows from block to block then inverts itself and returns to a pattern similar to the beginning but never entirely the same.

This piece I call Flights of Fantasy. what I like about this piece is that it evokes entirely different images in different people. I see the images as a bird, a machine or even a person rising up in flight to wherever it is they want to go , would like to go. To me it is a liberating , freeing image. On the other hand, my wife sees the images as something sensual and erotic. I could see it as well but only after she pointed it out to me. You will have to find your own flight of fantasy in this piece.Flights of Fantasy(6X9 inches)

The Scream (3X7 inches)
The piece, called The Scream reminded me of the painting by Edvard Munch.
The Scream by Edvard Munch

Screaming Pope by Francis Bacon

 The Screaming Pope also evokes the idea of this small piece. It is composed of two consecutive slices of wood. when I held them together the image that you jumped out at me.

All three pieces were created without changing the surface of the wood other than sanding the wood and finishing it. This is something different from my usual wood carving. Usually I am trying to remove layers of wood to find what the wood has to reveal. In a way, it is only the technique that is different. The idea of reusing wood that would have been discarded is the same as well as following the nature of the wood to see what it reveals is also to same. I think we should use technique as a tool and not be limited by only one method of arriving at the final destination.

The last of five pieces was carved in the usual manner.

Chinese Poem (6X11 inches)
I had a lot of fun carving this piece. It  is a relief carving with varying depths to make some parts more prominent than other parts. The wood came from the frame of one of the windows that I renovated in our home. I removed the old window which was broken and leaked air like a sieve and replace it with a new air-tight window. I as much of the wood from the window frame as I could.

The Chinese characters are from a poem that I read in a book by a Chinese calligraphy artist. The calligraphy was beautiful and the poems were interesting. I like this poem because it expresses how I feel about Bayshore Woods. Here is a rough Translation, "Stillness In The Green Pine Forest". I took a lot of liberties with the Chinese characters by lengthening parts, exaggerating parts and generally changing them until they flowed on the wood in a way that I liked. However, I did not change the characters so much that they were illegible. Also, I did not place them in any particular order on the wood so you can read them and interpret them as you like. That is part of the fluidity of Chinese poetry.

Well, there they are, five new pieces, different yet the same. Once I finish my grand daughter's crib which is very close to completion, I will have more time to finish and work on other pieces.