Thursday, February 27, 2014

Following in his Footsteps

Spring is coming! -- At least I think so…no...let’s make that “I hope so”, this cold weather is getting kinda old – but the arrival of Spring marks the start of another mission trip season. 

In case you’re wondering what woodcarving and mission trips have in common, it is this:  For about 8 or 10 years now I have been making a carving for the groups to take with them. Typically, all the members of the group sign the piece on the back.  The last night they all get together after dinner and decide who is to receive the carving.  Sometimes the group will present the carving to the church or organization that provided the lodging/meals for the mission workers but often the story of one family or individual touches the hearts of the mission workers in such a way that they want to give the carving as a special gift to that family or individual.

One of the groups that I have made quite a number of carvings for is first on the mission trip calendar for this year.  Unlike other years, they are not venturing far afield but are staying right here in Pittsburgh to help out some of those in need of aid here at home.

The leader and I get together a month or so ahead of time to decide what the theme should be.  This year neither of us had any good ideas.  The leader sent me a copy of the mission group’s logo.  It depicts a work boot stepping out to improve the living conditions of the less fortunate.  While that is a nice strong sort of symbol to have as a logo, I thought it was not a fitting idea for a carving.  So I modified the image to be a work boot following in the footsteps of the leader of us all.

I later changed the boot to a sneaker to “soften” the image a bit and also to acknowledge that fact that many mission workers are women and teenagers.  The little brass plaque wasn't done yet when I took the picture, so I sorta had to fake that.

So here it is:  “Following in his Footsteps…”

'Til next time...Keep Makin' Chips!

Monday, February 10, 2014

My Revolver Now has a Home!

I’ve been just a little, tiny bit nervous to take my hand carved revolver anywhere to show it for fear that *someone* might (a) damage it by picking it up and handling it (it’s really pretty fragile) or (b) might mistake it for "real" and just maybe doubt the motivation for my visit (yikes!). 

Having it safely ensconced in a handsome wooden case protects the carving and puts  me a bit more at ease on both counts. 

A good friend of mine who owns K.A. Models here north of Pittsburgh dropped off the presentation case for my gun this afternoon.  He and I have worked together on quite a number of projects and there was no one else that I would have preferred to build this case for me.  I recommend him highly!

The beautifully dovetailed case is made from nearly 100 year old wormy chestnut.   The only thing that is missing is a brass plaque to describe what viewer is looking at (I’ll have to get one made and install it ASAP).  

The black background is “flocked” to eliminate reflections and to accentuate the piece.

The cover “glass” is scratch resistant Lexan.  He even built a small stand for it so it will sit up very nicely in the curio cabinet.

I couldn’t be more pleased!

Thanks, Ken!

In other news, I have been madly rebuilding my shop and the project is starting to wind down.  I hope to soon have photos and descriptions to share.  Stay tuned! 

'Til next time...Keep makin' Chips!