Thursday, 23 October 2014

A Puzzling Poll for Prospective Purchasers of Puzzle Products

Alright, we're going to try something a bit different today and I need your help to accomplish it. 

I started making animal puzzles over a year ago and my selection has grown from around 3 to almost 30. 

Christmas is on the way and I'm trying to build stock as well as maybe add some new ones. That where you come in.

What I would like you to do is look through the selection of puzzles I have pictured. Either in the comments section below or on facebook tell me which one is your favourite (or a top 3) as well as if there is something you'd like to see. It doesn't have to be an animal, but it does have to be something that has a recognizable silhouette. 

Here are the options for now):













 Honey Bee




 Lion 2

 Maple Leaf









I should mention that all of these are currently available for sale and can be ordered by contacting me at If you're local you can pick it up from me, if you're not I can ship it to you at cost. 

Be sure to let me know what you like and what you'd like to see.

Monday, 20 October 2014

More Carved Bowls

I recently found some lovely materials that have lent themselves nicely to some new ornamental bowls. Details on each below:

Above is the front view of an ornamental "bowl". It's designed to either face forwards as shown above or up as a normal bowl. Below is the top view (or side view if used as a bowl).
Made from a spalted maple burl salvaged from the forest where it had been left to rot, carved, sanded and finished with shellac.

Above is a second sculptural bowl made from another spalted maple burl. The picture shows a side view and doesn't clearly show the shape as well as it should, but it is a truly one of a kind item.

I don't usually try to get a particular shape with my sculptural bowls. Rather, I prefer to let the wood define the shape. However, as the cherry bowl above began to take shape it began to resemble a woman's shoe, so that's the shape I went with. Live edge cherry bowl with shellac finish.

I'm not exactly sure what kind of wood this is. I suspect it may be cherry. All I really know is that I found a piece of wood in the forest and when I had finished making sawdust, this is what was left over. Miniature bowl with shellac finish.

A top view (below) and perspective shot of another miniature bowl. Only a few inches across with an amazing colour pattern on the bottom, this one could easily be turned upside down to make an entirely different ornamental piece.

Above and below are top and perspective shots of a bowl made from ash root. You can see the elegant tiger tail pattern in the texture of the wood.

Above and below: What passes for my attempt at an oak leaf shaped bowl. Made from red oak with a shellac finish.

Above and below: Another ash root bowl showing off the distinctive texture and inclusions of the wood.

Finally, the last of the bowls made from spalted maple burl. This one is functional as a bowl but has a very distinctive ornamental appearance.

That's it for this lot. Coming up are some riding toys, my pre-Christmas schedule and more. 

Stay tuned...

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Mom Sale in Madoc: Oct. 20th

It's been a while since I've managed a proper post, and I hope to get a few up soon, but I wanted to throw out a quick shout before it was too late.

Tomorrow, October 20th, there will be a "Stay at home Mom" sale at the arts center in Madoc, located in the park at the South end of town.

The sale will run from 9am to 3pm. The idea is that mom's and wives who are at home during the day might have a chance to check out a decent local craft sale before Christmas while hubby and the kids are out at work and school.

Stop by and support the local vendors. I will be there, taking custom orders as well as showing off regular items (and a few out of the ordinary things as well.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, 19 September 2014

Lots of new bowls and Madoc Fair Weekend

So right off the start, it's Madoc fair weekend. Of course if you took the time to read the title of this post, you already knew that (clever folk that you are). 

Needless to say, I will be there all weekend long. I set up my booth this morning, just inside the door to the left. I look forward to seeing some of you there. I'll even throw in a little extra this weekend: if you come to see me at the fair and mention this blog post, I'll give you 5% off any purchase or custom order over $20. 

Now on to bowls. I like bowls. Specifically i like making bowls. There's just so much artistic freedom in making them. To day features some carved bowls that I've made (mostly in the past week.

I live with my family on a lovely bit of mixed forest, where there's always lots of stuff to make into things just laying on the forest floor. However, between May and September the insects are bad enough that it's not really worth the fight to go and get materials. That makes bowl carving from recovered natural sources a somewhat seasonal activity. 'Tis the season!

 These two shots are of a small, shallow oak bowl. The above shot shows the bottom of the bowl, the pic below shows the top. Finished with shellac.

These two bowls were both made from small maple burls. The pics don't do them justice, but they are pure eye candy. Wonderful contrast between the burl wood and the naturally hollowed centers. The one shown above has the bark still on while the one below has had the bark removed and shows some inclusions. Finished with Saman clear gloss.

Red oak bowl with spalted sapwood bottom, hand rubbed finished with Naturoil.

Spalted birch has some of the most amazing and vibrant colours to be found in Eastern Ontario forests. It also presents some difficulties in working it, but I think I've managed to over come those here. Top pic is a shot from above, bottom is more of a profile pic. Finished with shellac.

Pair of white cedar bowls. The longer one is finished with oil and Clapham's Beeswax. The shorter one has a CA glue finish, polished with Clapham's.

Of course that's just in addition to what's already in stock. These are one of a kind so be sure to hurry. The fair starts this afternoon but the inside exhibits (such as myself) will be open tomorrow and Sunday only. See you there!