Tuesday, November 1, 2011


The Black Swamp Woodcarver's Show will be held this Sunday at St. Clemment Hall on Tremainsville in Toledo Ohio from 10:00 till 4:00. Come on down to enjoy some great woodcarving talent and spend  a fun afternoon exploring the art of woodcarving.

Monday, October 31, 2011


The Sauder Village Woodcarving Show is now history and was delightful as usual. The many talented carvers, turners, and woodworkers that participated made the weekend great fun and an opportunity for learning and fellowship. Don Mertz's carving class centered around learning about human face proportion and his carving technique using only a knife. It was both challenging and and a great learning experience!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


This Thursday and Friday I am taking a caricature carving class from Don Mertz at Sauder Village. Don carves tiny folks using only a knife. He is a member of the Caricature Carvers of America and is a great instructor. His website is www.woodbeecarver.com. I promise to post pictures of my classroom efforts. :o) 

Saturday and Sunday I have a table at the Sauder Village Woodcarver's Show and Sale. I have been working on a Gnome Village. The show runs from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday and 11 am to 4 pm on Sunday. It is also the last day of the 2011 regular season and all sorts of fall and harvest activities will be happening. Check out www.SauderVillage.org to see what is going on. By the way, this guy is a Sarasota Gnome as that is where I was when I carved him. :o)

Sunday, October 9, 2011


So, I have discovered  that making things out of tin is extreme fun. This summer I have had the opportunity to work with Mike Runyon in the Tin Shop at Sauder Village in Archbold Ohio. Thanks to Mike's extreme patience and teaching skill, I have been able to make some items using historical techniques and tools. I have made a couple of tin cups, a tray, and best of all, cookie cutters. My fave has to be free form cutters that are soldered to a back plate. I have uploaded a pic of the shop and also a pic of a manatee, lady gnome, a shark, and a pug face cookie cutter.

The cutters are soldered by using an alcohol lamp and a blow pipe. The operator blows through a brass tube through the alcohol flame to create a point of flame that can be directed to the joint that you want to solder. The solder is lead free and safe to use for kitchen items. After bending a strip of tin to the shape you want, it is soldered to the plate. Done! And extreme fun!

Friday, October 7, 2011


It is nearly time for the Sauder Village Woodcarver's Show and Sale. As usual, I will have a display of carvings that I have worked on during the year. This year I am having fun making a gnome village. Come on over and check out all the great carvers at the show.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Glass blowing class at Sauder Village in Archbold Ohio

So, here's the deal. A few times a summer, Mark Matthews, resident and famous (oh yes!) glassblower who is known for his marbles (no joke, he still has his marbles) gives one hour long molten glass experiences at Sauder Village. www.saudervillage.org The studio is complete with all the paraphernalia needed to make really cool glass. The clear molten glass is in an oven just waiting for dipping a red hot rod to extract a nice blob to roll in chips of colored glass. Some chip colors are transparent and must have a background dip of white so the colors can be seen. He offers a choice of a round spherical ornament or a flower. Of course, I picked the flower.

I choose two colors of green for the flower stem and cobalt blue for the main flower color and yellow around the edges of the petals. The glass blob is rolled around in the appropriate color chips and reheated to melt them. It is then shaped by rolling on a metal slab and cooled by rolling the rod and controlling the shape of the glass blob. I am not sure what the appropriate name for the blob is, ergo, blob.

The petals are cut along the edges with something like scissors and shaped with pinching tools that grab the glass and pull it to shape. A hole is poked into the center of the flower with tongs. The glass is easy to manipulate and sort of feels like a living entity. You have to work fast as it cools quickly.

After several reheatings the stem is pulled out with circular tongs and twisted to shape. This also pulls in the center of the flower as if to invite a giant hummngbird to lunch. The piece is cooled with compressed air in areas that need to be stabilized before removing it from the rod. A brisk tap with a metal object like a dinner knife released the flower from the rod. Then it is off to the annealing oven for an overnight cooling to stabilize it.

So, I can't really see it till tomorrow morning. Sighhhhhh Pictures later. Sighhhhhhh

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stamp Out Procrastination!

After much prodding and chiding from my children, I promise to end procrastination and write this blog. Sigh....... Hopefully, I will remember all passwords and sign in names and come up with some interesting tidbits to share. :o) 

This summer I have been working at an historic site making baskets and doing tinsmith work. Basket making is fun, but tin is GREAT FUN! Soldering is done with a blowpipe and alcohol lamp and the tin is formed using antique machines. So far I have made star shaped cookie cutters, a couple of tin cups, a half sheet tray, and gnome cookie cutters. My next project is to experiment with asphaltum, a material that was used historically to coat the tim prior to decorative painting. The tray will soon, I hope, become a painting project. Whoot!