Well......I thought I was ready for two Holiday Markets. Had 19 cutting boards, 23 coasters and bunches of photo frames to go with the glicee prints and greeting cards. I had a really good holiday market at Motorco and unexpected sales to a couple of friends and a man who found me on the internet. That left me with four cutting boards, no coasters and only one size of jatoba/maple photo frames.
So I have been in the workshop with the baseboard heat and a small space heater running to get it warm enough to do glue ups. Oh, I learned that when you run the baseboard heat, space heater, dust collector and table saw that the circuit breaker trips! Having learned that lesson, I now have 8 cutting boards, 20 coasters, several more jatoba/maple photo frames completed and 4 more cutting boards glued up and ready for planing, sanding and final finishing with mineral oil. If the power stays on this afternoon they will be done bringing the total of cutting boards to 12.
I used a couple of woods, Sapele and tiger stripe maple, that I have not typically used with cutting boards. Using the tiger stripe maple and Sapele edge grain has made those portions of the boards almost "glow" under bright light. The two boards above are absolutely beautiful if I do say so myself. I also made on 8"X10" Sapele/maple photo frame while I was set up to make frame molding.
After I finish the last four boards I will be ready for the Durham Craft Market Holiday Market. Come see me in booth 35 at the Durham Convention Center, December 15 from 11AM until 4PM.
As you may remember, "Twin Pines" was based on a photograph taken by Marshall McIver of a scene on South Lowell Road north of Durham. I am pleased that a lady who lives out that way saw it on my website and has taken it home to the neighborhood. I hope her family will enjoy it for years to come.
I am getting ready for the Bright Spirits Holiday Market at Motorco this Sunday from Noon until 7PM. I'll have 17 cutting boards, over 50 photo frames in three customary sizes and four wood species combinations, coasters, giclée prints and greeting cards of several of my watercolors. Come see me. Oh yeah, as extra incentive, the Allagash Brewery Oyster Roast is going on at the same time. How can ya resist!!
Bad news first. My application to participate in the Durham Craft Market Holiday Market was not accepted. It was a good venue last year and I am disappointed to not be participating this year.
The good news is that I will participate in the Bright Spirits Holiday Market held at Motorco on December 2 from 12 noon until 7PM. Good news within good news is that they will feed me and I can drink a beer or two during the show! I will have 20 cutting boards of various sizes and shapes, over 40 photo frames of three popular sizes and several wood species combinations, and my newest offering - coasters. Come join me at Motorco on December 2!
Oh.....more good news. I just finished a small watercolor "First Snow" that will be part of the "Intensity Small Works" show at the Cary Gallery of Artists, 200 South Academy Street, suite 120, Cary North Carolina. The Small Works portion of the show has watercolors from over 20 Watercolor Society of North Carolina Central Region members for sale. The show will hang from November 30, 2018 though January 1, 2019. An Artist's Reception will be held from 6PM to 8PM on November 30. "First Snow" image is 8"X8" and framed dimension is 13"X13" and is for sale at $150.
It's been a busy few weeks. Where to begin?
Last blog I walked you through some of the initial steps of making inlayed bread/cheese boards ending with the glued up initial slabs. Let's finish the process.
I draw two curves on the blanks and cut the blank in two along one of the curves using a band saw. I very lightly sand both edges of the cut blank. I then glue to blank back together inserting a 1/16" strip of contrasting wood between to two halves. This step is tricky and crucial. If I sand the edges to much, or the inlay strips are too thick/thin, the different woods in the blank will not line up correctly when the board is glued back together.
The contrasting inlay strips are slightly wider than the board is deep so I hand plane them nearly flush with the board. Then back to the band saw to cut the second curve, sand, glue a second contrasting inlay strip between the halves and plane down the inlay.
As usual, I forgot to take pictures of the last steps...… Following initial rough sanding, the edges of the boards are relieved on a router table using a round-over bit. Then the boards are sanded with progressively finer grit sand paper and finished with three coats of mineral oil.
These are some of the finished boards I hope to sell at the upcoming Durham Farmer's Market Holiday Market.
Those of you who follow my personal FaceBook page will have to forgive my repeating the rest of this. My wife, Barbara, and I went up to the mountains so I could attend the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Watercolor Society of North Carolina and we could do some hiking and fishing. Yes she fly fishes too, ain't life wonderful? We noticed a bird tangled in fishing line hanging from a tree limb while we were fishing the Watauga river in the Valle Crusis Park. I waded across the river and cut it down. It was a red phase Eastern Screech Owl. I was able to untangle some of the fishing line and remove a hook that was lodged in the skin under a wing but the owl was disoriented and very weak and I did not want to try and get the rest of the line untangled. We took the owl to the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center associated with Lees McCrae University in Banner Elk. It initially did well but expired several days later. The lesson is for all us anglers to remember to retrieve and properly dispose of all lures and lines whenever we are able.
I attended the opening reception of the 2018 WSNC Juried Annual Show where my painting "St. John's" will hang until Novemeber 16, 2018.
Finally, I have been busy making photo frames for the Holiday Market. I will have 4X6, 5X7 and 8X10" frames in three wood combinations. Maple with jatoba inlays, jatoba with maple inlays and cherry with maple inlays.
Cherry with maple inlays frames were very popular at last year's market. I wanted to make four 8X10, six 5X7 and six 4X6 cherry frames with maple inlays. Very small differences in the width of the molding or placement of the inlay lead to poorly aligned inlays and bad corners during final glue up. I make all the molding I need for a batch of frames at the same time using the same equipment setups through the entire run to eliminate these differences. I estimated I needed about 58 feet of molding to make these frames. I wound up with three short pieces of molding left over. Not bad estimating!
Above are rough sanded jatoba with maple inlay frames awaiting final sanding and finishing. In the back left are the beginnings of my latest brainstorm for utilizing "waste" from making frames and bread boards. Coasters.
The coasters are 4X4" and 1/2" thick in dimension. The edges are rounded over and they are finished with three coats of polyurethane to resist moisture. They will sell for $5 each. Buy four, and get a free stand.
I hope I am accepted to the Holiday Market. If not, I should have plenty of Christmas and birthday presents for the next few years!
My original watercolor, Harbor Mouth, is available as part of the silent auction during the Bid It Up For the Cure event September 23, 2018 from 5:00PM to 7:30 PM at Croasdaile Country Club,
4800 Farm Gate Ave., Durham. Bid It Up For The Cure is an evening in celebration of all who have been touched by breast cancer and the doctors, researchers, nurses and others who have dedicated their lives to making breast cancer survivable for all. 100% of the money raised will be donated equally to the breast cancer research programs at Duke, UNC and Wake Forest Universities. Bid It Up For the Cure is held the evening before the Tee It Up for a Cure golf outing, also at Croasdaile Country Club. For more information about the celebration, golf outing or Chapel Hill Breast Cancer Foundation go to http://www.chbcf.com/.
Barbara and I are back in town and settled in after spending a week in Alberta Canada on a great Roads Scholar trip. We saw many spectacular vistas in Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper in spite of the smoke blowing in from the many fires in British Columbia. You can see the smoke in the background of the second and third pictures.
I have again applied to participate in this year's Durham Craft Market Holiday Market. In anticipation, I have begun to put together some cutting boards and thought you might enjoy seeing some pictures of the process.
I run the blanks repeatedly though a surface planner to make both faces of the blank smooth and parallel. The sacrificial runners prevent the planner from cutting low areas (called snipe) in both the front and rear edge of the blanks. If I don't use the runners, I either have to cut off the low areas or spend a lot of time sanding down the high area in the middle.
Thin strips of hardwood approximately 3/4" wide are repeated run though the surface planner to an final depth of 1/16". That depth is critical so that the strips are approximately the same depth as the width of the kerf that is cut in the blanks creating the curved inlays. If the strips are too thick, the hardwood strips in the final board will not line up appropriately.
I'll post another blog when I have gone on to the final steps so you can see the end of the process.
A lot of waste is created when cutting the original 3/4" strips to make the board blanks. I thought if I squared these waste strips to 3/4" on each side and approximately 1.5" long I might be able to make an end grain trivet or cheese block. The glue-up proved to be difficult but I like the concept. I may try it again but using 2" squares to make a full size end grain cutting block. Do you like to the concept? The test block below is maple, walnut and jatoba woods.
I am very pleased to announce that my watercolor "St. John's" has been accepted to the 2018 Watercolor Society of North Carolina Juried Exhibition! It was one of 70 accepted (of 262 entered) by this year's renowned juror, Iain Stewart. The exhibition opens on Sunday October 7 at 2:00 PM at the Florence Thomas Arts School in West Jefferson. The exhibition will rund through November 16, 2018. My thanks to Ian for selecting "St. John's" as part of this year's exhibition.
Wow, it's been quite a while since I posted anything!
And there is always fishing to get in the way of doing anything constructive.
And I have also been suffering from painter's block. I started a couple of paintings early this year, got the initial sky and foreground in "Twin Pines" but struggled with another painting of a picture I took of a rainbow trout I caught last year. I tried three attempts at the trout painting and did not like something in all three! Well, I finally got back to "Twin Pines" and finished it. It is based on a photo taken by Marshall McIver, a friend of my wife. It is a half sheet painting approximately 13"X20" and will eventually be framed in a jatoba frame with either maple or red oak inlays. It will be available for $450 after I build a frame for it and have the image digitized for potential prints and greeting cards. I hope you enjoy it.
"Snowy Morning" is another of my paintings based on Marshall's work. She took both the photos on the same wintery morning right after a snow several years ago and I have enjoyed working with the lighting and subject mater that she captured.
John Schwartz - watercolorist and woodworker.