Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Heat is Gone

The worst of the Summer heat has finally left Mid Missouri folks and I'm back in the shop with abandon. Those who have not spent a Summer in the Show Me state may be unaware of just how uncomfortable it can be here. Temperatures regularly hit the high 90s by mid afternoon and the heat indexes push the 110s. They say of the weather around here that if you don't like it just wait a few minutes and it will change. I find this only applies to months other than July and August. In these months the temperature builds and builds and doesn't let go until the later part of August.

"What does this have to do with a wood shop?" I hear you ask and would speak the same in your position. May I draw your attention to the picture on above. You'll notice in the picture I'm wearing quite an assortment of safety gear to protect me from the dust and the tools I use. In an non air-conditioned shop this is really uncomfortable and could only spend two to three hours working before I had to pack it in.

Now that the weather has broken I'm able to go full force again. Carving, sanding, polishing and sawing. I've considered putting in air-conditioning but really it's just a few weeks of the year that this really is a problem and the dust would only clog up the entire system in a matter of hours anyway.

August has been an amazing month for my wood shop in other ways. I have been blessed with more customers for my bowls than any other month by far. It really makes me itch to get back into the shop and create more as I read the emails of appreciation from customers across America  describing how much they love their bowl and how they plan to use it. Thanks to all those you appreciate art and all things hand carved.

Now for a few of my more recent bowls:

The bowl on the left is carved from Sassafras. This is a beautifully easy wood to carve and it gives off a wonderful aroma that reminds me of the friars balsam my father poured into boiling water as a treatment for my terrible sinus pain as a child. Fond memories of a caring father, and the stuff works too. Several of these bowls should be available for sale at in the next week.

The bowl on the left is carved from walnut. You can see the light colored sapwood on the lest of the bowl and watch the color change to the beautifully dark heart wood as the bowl descends. This one is about to go on a 3700 mile journey to Ireland as a wedding gift for a cousin of mine that's getting married in September. I hope she likes it.

 This pretty little thing is carved from a walnut burl that I found on a saw mill. It had been thrown aside as a useless piece of wood. Imagine my delight at finding such a large burl! Unfortunately it had already been cracked severely from exposure to the elements before I found it. I still managed to carve this bowl from it with the cracks present. I felt the cracks added character to the bowl and didn't detract from it at all. Someone else agreed because if sold about three hours after I put it up online.