Tallboy, in oak.

It’s a while since I blogged, I’ve been busy this year cutting up large pieces of wood into smaller pieces. It’s a hobby.

I’ve stretched myself this project and am making a tallboy. It has almost 100 pieces of wood and some carving and some inlay work, so it’s going to be a real ‘grown-up’ piece of carpentry.

Some photos….

Firstly, around Christmas I borrowed an electric motor saw to cut my lumps of oak into slabs…


Then I spent the next month cutting these into usable pieces



I did some old school ‘data transfer’…



This is what I plan on making..

chest 4 blank coloured

So, I started gluing it up..



And now I have to start on the drawers. You’ll notice that I haven’t drawn any handles on my sketch, that’s purely because I can’t decide which ones to make.

They’ll be in metal … and I’m going to make them… but … I can’t choose between lizard shaped and plain round forged ones….

I’ll post more photos when I know more myself…


Time will tell…



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Bye bye Facebook… it’s been mediocre.

Well, the FB police got me and told me I’d have to submit some proof of existence before I could continue to post/visit FB.

I did think about it for a while, but not long. That’s no reflection on my FB friends and acquaintances … more my reflection on FB and “social media” as a whole.

I have ‘left’ FB before in as much as it is possible to, but decided to use it for a while until I got stopped, and that was a few years ago. I think it’s taken them 3 or 4 years to catch up with me.

I considered making some ID but wasn’t really sure if I wanted to go down that route and I certainly am not ready to share my RL details with Mark and The Boys … I do have some desire for a bit of privacy. Added to this is the small pleasure I have in not supplying the advertisers with my RL as target.

I can’t really say that FB has enhanced my life at all. I’ve been amused by cats fighting crocs etc and I’ve ‘kept in touch’ with people I would otherwise not have done … but… I could not say that FB has been a rewarding experience in any way. I am happy to let it go as another virtual episode in the life of soror Nishi.

I actually prefer blogging, but FB has made me lazy.

Meanwhile, back on dry land, I’ve been sawing away like a little sawmill in my workshop. I’ve got a good deal of the timber cut, but more to go…. will post photos later when I have something to show.

Hugs to all



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Marketplace … 3 texture sets.

I finally got around to putting some more stuff on Marketplace. I’ve been meaning to for a long time, but you know how it is….

Anyway, three sets of textures in Copy/Mod format for those that would like them

and a few headdresses….
and some bonsai…
and a couple more trees.

Now… I’ll try and do more before Christmas… but we’ll see…



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Walnut Bread Bin

Well, not much to say really …I bought some Walnut (wood) offcuts from eBay and made a bread bin.

I wanted to see how difficult it was to do a dovetailed box. It took a bit of time, but generally I did OK. I’m not sure how often I’ll be dovetailing, but it is a very strong box, due mainly to the dovetailing.

The handle is made from Sumach (Rhus Glabra) and the rest is Walnut apart from the little shelf thing which is 3mm bamboo (skewers for kebabs) and untreated.

The constructivist carving is one I adopted from something I found online, so not entirely original … but carving “BREAD” seemed a bit tame.

On to the next……


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Not all Things are created equal.

There’s often talk about how materialistic our society has become and how possessions rule our lives. Like most generalities there is an element of truth in it which is why it gets told and retold, but also a falsehood lies concealed within.

There is a fundamental difference in Things.

Some are clutter, mass produced and most often have no intrinsic value.

Some are linked sentimentally to a person or place and have an emotional value which far exceeds their economic value…. that pebble from the beach, for example..

Some are so aesthetically pleasing that they ‘give’ every time they are used or viewed. Artworks are sometimes in this category …. although there’s a lot of crap out there posing as Art.
I have a total ‘blindspot’ when it comes to the difference between art and craft, or artisan and artist … but I am in a minority, I’m sure.
Pretentious arguements concerning The Human Condition [one of my most hated phrases] are often bought into play to try and ‘educate’ me.

…and then there are magic things…

Magic things have a power of their own, independent of their beauty, their owner and value.

I think the whole “we are too materialistic” arguement overlooks this differentiation. We are maybe not materialistic enough in that we don’t evaluate Things, we don’t look at them closely enough, we don’t discern.

I love Things.
Some of my Things are junk, those I love less…. but some are more valuable than some people..:)

Anyway … my latest product from the workshop … a knife for my grandson who is a Scout.

The woods are Bird’s Eye Birch and Tiger Oak (from fallen trees), with copper silver and brass spacers. The dark blue resin I made myself and the light coloured plastic is day-glow, it shines green at night.

The lid of the box is sumac (also a tree I felled) and the leather is dyed with blueberries.

The sheath is traditional Nordic style.

… I’m working on a bread box at the moment, trying my hand at dovetail joints. I actually bought some wood .. American Walnut, as no native UK wood can match that rich brown colour.

Photos will follow… but it’ll be a while I guess..


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Flower bowl from dough bowl

Nearly 3 years ago I started on the refurbishment of an old dough bowl I bought at a bootfair.

I started off carving it out a bit

Then gave it a bit of paint

It’s a design I had wanted to make out of glass but I would have needed a lot of machinery and so, it didn’t happen.

It’s Ok in wood, and I’m glad to have finished off another of those “little projects” that can quickly fill a workshop..


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New Tiger Oak Caddy-style Box

Design isn’t always straightforward, some things need to sit on the workbench as one of many possible solutions rises to the surface of the Possibilities Stew. When it finally does emerge it can necessitate a whole bunch of different decisions … and this can take a bit more contemplation. This is one of those things that took it’s time to complete.

The joints using mini bamboo pins reminded me of stitching, I’ve never seen it before, but it work well for this piece.

I’m very happy with the result, I like the balance of the overall piece.

The inside is almost impossible to photograph, The “Power of Creativity” symbol [first sign in the I-Ching] is done in a blue/green glitter and then a layer of clear epoxy was poured over to create a sort of black mirror. The sides are in a rippled epoxy finish. It just reflects your face when you look in…. or the camera when you try to photograph it.

Anyway, I have another piece I’m just finishing off that has also taken ages … more of that next week.

Enjoying Wimbledon..:))

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Posh bird table in oak

It’s been ages since I posted anything about my workshop projects apart from a few photos of my wild plum slabs which are currently drying and warping and splitting at this moment in time. Not unsurprising when you try to dry something too fast…. should create an interesting set of problems later in the year….

I have finished the first of a number of smaller projects which are ‘on the bench’ at the moment, namely my posh bird table.

I’ve cobbled this together with bits of reclaimed oak along with a few newer pieces, using slate for the roof.

I’ve managed to use pegs rather than screws, mostly, as I’m pretty sure that the weather and bird poo will subject it to quite a bit of stress …[if bird tables ever get stressed]. Which is why I chose solid oak rather than anything fancy.

The pole it sits on is just a cherry laurel post I had hanging around and will obviously rot but the peg connecting the two pieces is Australian Ironwood which is, not surprisingly, hard as iron. It should be a simple process to replace the pole when it’s time is up.

I’m also working on another Tiger Oak box with an oriental ‘style’ which should be appearing on these pages soon … and one or two other bits and bobs.

Anyway … back to work..

XX soror

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Frame for Virtual Worlds painting.

Yes, I finally got around to framing my Virtual World painting. It’s been hanging around on the kitchen wall for months now and I’ve been promising myself I’d get around to it as soon as the wardrobe was finished. It also needed a good varnishing as it was now old enough.

I found a bit of wood on a client’s bonfire that I knew wasn’t oak or pine so I took it home and cleaned it off, it was caked in crap and a rotten layer of wood. Anyway, it turns out it was birch.

I bought a rabbet plane off eBay a while back specifically for this job so I dusted it off and it did a good job. The corners turned out OK and the frame was more square than the canvas. Quite a difficult job with only hand tools.

The wood was just a little too good to paint over entirely but as I didn’t want a brown frame I had to treat it somehow. I tried using a white tinted cellulose based varnish but it just soaked into the softer bits of wood completely. I was hoping for a slightly opalescent finish…. I didn’t really manage… so plan B was to give it a “cloudy” look.

I used a slightly tinted ordinary varnish on top of the cellulose hoping to give it a hue and show some of the wood. The second coat had a little chrome yellow in it. It’s turned out a bit ‘distressed’ …. I’m not entirely happy with the final effect but it will do until I get bored with it and just paint it one colour.

Still, it’s done and varnished and kitchen-proof now.


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Eve’s Wardrobe

As you may know I’ve been building a wardrobe for the last few months and, finally, it’s finished. It’s basically the biggest thing I could make in my workshop and still move around so I’ll be glad to see it moved indoors.

Now, mythologically, the first person to need a wardrobe was Eve. Once she’d munched the apple she was no longer content with fig leaves and headed for the nearest mall. Historically, though, selective evolution saw to it that those who liked to run around naked (at least in this part of the planet) never got to reproduce. As there are plenty of Darwinian Logic style wardrobes for sale at Ikea (other crap-packed furniture is available), I have tipped my hat to Eve in the decoration of mine.

Well… the prim-like ‘leaves’ on the wardrobe doors are enamelled copper dishes I hammered out and soldered a short length of 5mm copper pipe to the back of. I used a blow torch for that as I don’t have a kiln. I secured them in place with a short piece of plastic hose (5mm internal diameter).

The handles are wood with lots of filler and many layers of paint. To keep the doors closed I’ve buried super magnets into the frame and the doors (eBay) and the hinges are just brass bars (eBay) I’ve drilled.

The top hinge has to be cantilevered like that as the doors aren’t straight-sided.

The apple ….I’m not sure about… it has a copper top and bottom skin, the white bit is made of wood and epoxy resin. The enamelling on it is pretty bad and I’ve bodged it with some varnish, paint and various forms of ticky-tacky.

I used the best paint and brushes I could afford with a primer coat, two undercoats and 3 top coats. It’s not a perfect finish, but it will have to do.

It’s probably cost me around $300 in materials as I bought most of the wood and brass fittings, upcycling where I could.

So..it’s all done now apart from cleaning brushes and rescuing my workshop from the mess.

Happy to have my workshop back…


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