To celebrate the end of the season (today being the Twelfth day of Christmas), here’s an overview of the christmas presents I made this year.
The first thing I made was this oloid for my mother. It’s a fun object to make: it has no straight surfaces and numerous different curves. Yet, there’s a very methodological way of making them with a pair of carving gouges. I won’t get into that here, but there is a site that describes a technique similar to the one I used. As far as I know, oloids have no particular function besides the fact that they’re very tactile and fun to play with.
Next I made a pencil box for my father. I challenged myself to use half-blind dovetails for the bottom of the box. Getting the four edges of the bottom to fit nicely was a lot of work. Also, the dovetails along the long edges were very fragile due to the grain direction (probably a reason why you don’t see this very often). I’m not sure if I’d use this technique for the bottom of a box again, but I’m pleased with the result:
I also made a series of stars using wood off-cuts, based on an instructional blog by Paul Sellers. The black star was made by ebonising pieces of oak. I did this by brushing the finished star with vinegar soaked in some steel wool:
My sister got a jam spoon with a carved a flower pattern in the handle. It seemed a bit lonely on its own so I made a box to go with it:
Next, I made a salad serving spoon and fork for my brother and sister in law. Making these was a fun exercise in carving and shaping. First I made two identical spoons. I converted one of them into a fork by sawing into into the bowl of the spoon:
Other gifts were this serving spoon with spoon rest for my wife’s sister, based on a traditional Japanese rice spoon design, with a carved a flower pattern in the handle…
… and this paddle/pencil tray for her husband:
Last but not least is this heart on a tray for my wife. I made the heart by laminating a piece of rosewood between two pieces of maple and carving the shape:
Making these projects has been fun and I got to practice my box making, dovetailing and carving techniques. I’m pleased with the results and am looking forward to more making in 2014!