Apart from finishing one version of the 'Young Dragon Hiding' Pyrography and seeing the article lay-out for the 2012 annual 'Pyrography Issue' of 'Scroll Saw' magazine. I seem to have been progressing slowly with a number of projects and acquiring new ones but not completing anything.
Most of my time is required to continue the picture book I am illustrating at the moment and schools have also now resumed after the holidays with scripture classes recommencing soon. Sometimes, ironically, regular routines can help you work more efficiently and so I hope to be able to post some completed items here before too long.
So here is the Lovespoon I am presently carving for a show in a couple of months. It is a little different in style from my previous lovespoons and has no Celtic elements in the design. I have a number of very different styles I want to try with lovespoons including some simpler ones to try and build up a bit of a stock.
This spoon is being carved from New South Wales Rosewood, a native Australian timber that is excellent for carving, a little like mahogany but a bit crumbly and dry in texture and not too strong in the short grain. It requires a great deal of care when carving the more delicate sections especially when they are essential to the design and need to have a presence without any discontinuance, like the ribbon threaded through the heart.
There is still a long way to go with this carving before I even get to the sanding and finishing.
In the meantime I have another commission that has to be started on soon, so that by working on it intermittently but consistently I will be able to complete it on time around Easter. It sounds like plenty of time doesn't it? But the problem is, the bulk of my current projects all need to be completed around this time and the others need to be well underway by then as well.
The other projects include some pyrography works and carving for the shows I regularly enter. One important project, on hold at the moment, is the pair of dolls houses I began before Christmas intended as part of the Christmas present for our two grand daughters to go with their 'Sylvannia Families' Dolls.
This pair of houses is designed to be fitted to a sloping base that will be the front yards of the houses. It will be like a small section of street with neighbouring houses meant for 'neighbouring play' to take place. I had thought, that as the deign was simple and deliberately toy like, then it would be a straight forward and easy build. This might be the case when I get around to drawing up the design again and constructing a second version that incorporates lessons learned along the way, but for now I will have to press on, designing as I go and realising, this is how it is with a prototype.
I have always intended to present many of my woodcrafts designs as step by step tutorial projects including patterns and plans. There is much involved in this however, much more than just making and documenting the process. The making just sets you up to commence the first set of credible working drawings, before making and documenting a final 'step by step' tutorial that is tried and tested.
I have also commenced ( last year ), a course on botanical art with Leonie Norton . Fortunately the course is open ended as far as time is concerned, as I have only finished the graphite pencil section of the course.
I am looking forward to getting into the watercolour painting part of the course. My illustration work, at least as far as colour is concerned has been only digital for more than a decade and a half and I am keen to use real materials again. The combination of art and science really appeals to me and also links to my distant past as a biological
( untrained, there were no courses then ) illustrator. This kind of work is also different in nature from the more whimsical and fanciful genres that I like so much but I feel that the two different strands of expression can only work well together.