Month: May 2010

Farmer’s Market 5-30-10

Farmer’s Market 5-30-10

I’ll be at the Balt. market  under the Jones Fall’s bridge this Sunday.

I mentioned the Catalpa tree  in the last post. It’s one of my favorite trees and a fine example of a nice domestic wood that’s often overlooked.I have found the wood wonderful to work with, it smells unusual, it’s hard to describe but good and very light weight and fairly strong. It carves well and is very rot resistant, that seems odd to me because it’s fairly soft. I think of rot resistance as a hard wood characteristic like Locust or White Oak. Alexander told me a long time ago that there were great old Catalpa trees in Patterson Park in Baltimore when he was growing up. They were so old the centers had started to decay, maybe hit by lightning, and there was an opening you could craw into the tree  and stand up, he said the bums would live in them. I heard that Catalpa and Ginko   are the oldest known trees surviving back to the time of the dinosaurs.The catipillars that inhabit the tree are supposed to be exceptional spring time fishing bait too. Talking about trees is one of those things where every one has a story usually different from the last but mostly true so don’t hold me to these “facts”.

                                                        I made this for some friends, a wedding gift.

Catalpa has a creamy tan color. And defined growth rings but a tight grain like Poplar.

I am always on the lookout for it so if you have one to take down I can help.

I have been wanting to shape a wooden surf board and I bet this would be a great wood to try it with.

Other notable news, the Britts are in Fells Point, the H.M.S. Sutherland is docked and accepting free tours, I hope to go aboard tomorrow with Mom and the bean.  Naval ships are always impressive this one looks to have lots of big boy toys.

Apparently we are in a heightened terrorist watch, that’s what the sign said leading up, and the fine gentlemen on board with beret’s and machine guns made that even more apparent.

But the ship was loaded with tourist, it’s really neat they do that.

I took these pics with my phone sorry for the horrible quality. Speaking of guns here is a woman with her infant in back pack type holder that goes on the front of your body getting the kid to grip the high-caliber machine gun mounted on the deck while dad snaps away with his camera, kind of wierd thing when you think about it, they were cracking up the whole time so hey….. as long as your having fun.

Farmer’s Market 5-30-10

I’ll be at the Balt. market under the Jones Fall’s bridge this Sunday.

It looks like it’s going to be a nice Memorial weekend as it should be, we have a lot to be thankful for, foremost the individuals that are sacrificing so much of their lives serving in our armed forces, to me that is one of the hardest things for one to do when there is a wife and kids involved, much respect! Also the people in our country that continue to build lives and livelihoods so we may all prosper.

The Cherry bowl in the post before last sold on the second day I took it to the market. I have another one that’s close to the same size but different shape, more Swede traditional and two spoons all in cherry.These are split from a fresh-cut Cherry section and worked down with hand tools. Here I’m halving along an already established crack, the end grain is shiny due to the wax sealer I brush on to slow drying.

Then axe the surface close to flat.

A scrub plane gets it level.

And a smoothing plane gives a good surface to draw an out line on and have a reference point.

I sketch my thoughts.

I carved this bowl from the bark side, its more challenging to get a decent size but worth the effort , the growth rings uniformly transition from rim to bottom and they follow the contour of the bowl on the exterior.

This is a great time of year here in the north county, this week the Laurel, multiflora, catalpa are just exploding and there are so many great sent’s and views, the finch’s are just killing our bird feeder, gold and purple.

I am doing the Gun Powder River Art Fest June 12 2010 , come and experience what this area has to offer.

Baltimore Farmers Market 5-16-10

I will be at the Farmers Market under the Jones Falls Bridge this Sunday. I will have- coffee tables, a bench with cabriolet legs, ladder back chairs, carved boxes, rolling pins and other odds and ends, possibly some hand tools if I can get them ready. The weather should be much nicer than last week, not nearly as windy.I just finished this bowl to take also. It gave me a fit at first with a nasty check (crack) originating from the pith. You can see it there on the left side of the rim, I first used a gouge to remove the obscenity, just cutting a dip in each end to below the check and well below the pith. Then it returned. I was very careful with the drying process too, this is a fear that lays in the back of my mind and it finally happened. So what to do, abandoned the mission? no I’ve wanted to carve this shape for a long time, so try again to fix it. I put a bow tie dutchman in and wow what lousy bit of joinery that was.Now I am at the cross roads do I continue? I don’t want to, feeling a bit deflated, but I owe it to the bowl gods. Go chop shop on this thing and lower the rim from 6″ to 3″ no that’s to much of a loss for such a decent size salad bowl. I decided to cut all the obscenities out in a circular fashion.There are many creative ways to remedy this, I think this works well and the bowl can still be used for all the things it was originally intended for. I feel you can’t totally control the wood, it’s going to be as much a part of the design process as me.When working green wood in this manner two rules to follow are always remove the pith totally and dry the piece slowly, I use plastic bags to sweat it and set it out to air dry slowly indoors, there are lots of other things like avoiding knots too but I’ll save that for another time.

Responsibility for the total

The other day I read something that hit home, one of those things you think but never say or right down. I like what the fine folks at Gränsfors Bruks are saying , buy something that is well prepared and thought out and it will serve you well for a long time and has less impact on our dwindling surroundings. So you buy one over a period of time not many. That means more natural resources that are higher quality because they have been allowed to mature and age in a way that nature intended. These days the economy is uncertain as are jobs and work, so its understandable the draw to buy something that’s not as nice as what you want but is inexpensive and will hold you over until some of the stresses in life go away and the funds start to come in, I am guilty of it too but steadily becoming less so. You can go to a chain restaurant and get full but don’t really remember the experience or box store and buy a tool or a piece of furniture only to get frustrated with it and watch it deteriorate before your eyes….. and repeat. It doesn’t seem that long ago the economy was good, housing was selling like crazy the tradesman had steady work, and the box store was the store of choice for so many. It seems like those would be the days to buy for longevity and now when things are tight people would tend to go for savings where ever possible, but I guess its human nature to feel things are always uncertain and and best to just get something to hold you over. But looking back things were a lot better for more folks then than now. I worked with my cousin over the winter, he’s a carpenter and we were talking about cutting back on purchases, I jokingly said I was going to buy this tool I can’t afford just to do my part to stimulate the economy. His response was that every morning he stops to get something to eat or drink on his way to the job, he could have fixed something at home for less and keep daily expenses down but these small purchases help keep local people working. All this might sound a bit self promoting, it’s not ment to, I really feel supporting local business might cost more at times but benefits many.

Farmers Market 5/8 & 9 2010

I will be at the Waverly market on Saturday and the Baltimore market on sunday this weekend.

Mothers Day is Sunday treat your Mom right take her to the market and get her some live soft shells or a nice piece of furniture!

I will have a bench with cabriolet legs,

Tables for the end of the bed or in the T.V room the porch, wherever.These are the right size for city liven!

Carved boxes. Place an order for one that’s personalized!

And always the do it all carriers!

Dont argue with your imagination it knows where these pieces want to go and what they will achieve!

Spring Time

This afternoon we took the bean and the dogs to the Gunpowder and hiked a loop, it’s so nice not to be cold or wet it feels like winter just ended.I love this area and the feeder streams and springs have been rolling, you don’t see that often enough around here.It’s nice to be in the woods this time of year, you see things in a different way. There is constant change throughout the seasons and all those transitions are great. I like how much sun light reaches the ground and the way it plays off of things you might not notice, fungi and small flowers,shadows and especially the stream, the clarity in the deep holes and the color of the rocks in the shallows and rapids. The ferns in  particular are loving the dose of sun thier getting  today the green color seemed to fade from deep in the center to light on the edges.

The Oak tree behind us must have made a horrible noise when it came down in a storm a couple of years ago. It looks like wind damage I don’t see any burn from lightning but its blown apart like it was struck.

These pics don’t do it justice I took them with my phone.In a few weeks the woods will have grown a little more and it will be hard to see the full-scale of the carnage.

The top is following the contour of the ground landing in a dry stream bed and up the hill-side like it was gently laid there, the branches all flat and looking like it could be stood back up and would have its original form.

I cant wait to get out on the Bay, these warm temps and sunshine really make me want to go. I’ve been working on the boat, changed the lower unit oil, spark plugs and fuel filter cleaned and waxed, and while I m waiting for the winds to die down a little I need to replace the seat in the front of the console that was cracked and broken.

My father sewed up some cushions for me over the winter so it will be covered most of the time but its fun to see when you not expecting it.I dont know how he makes these things it seems like it would be really hard to do.

Its like any thing once you have an understanding of the process you can repeat and tweak and add your own ideas to it, there was a lot of that at the F.F.S last weekend.


So it has come and gone, so much build up its hard to believe its over.The show was a lot of fun I met some incredibly talented people, some of the pieces were the kind of thing you always wanted to see but never have and maybe didn’t realize it until you saw it.

Baltimore you need to step it up attendance was horrible, I think it was a combination of a “really nice to be outside day” on Saturday and a lack of local knowledge. Promoting something in another state is a huge task with many obsticals.You can do your best to get the word out and then its up to those people to carry it out. The local artist, and there were a bunch of them told all their clients and spread the word the best they could too.I really want this show to come back, it makes Balt. look good.

Of the six awards that went out I think three Marylanders won, check the Fine Furnishings Face Book Page to see who.