Saturday, November 30, 2019

First and finish thoughts on Nanowrimo

Note: I wrote the first part of this entry for Quora.

First writing session- fantastic!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

LTCH Fast Animals

I am trying to find animals that I can make quickly so that I can make enough for residents to sand and paint.

'Quickly' means 'roughly' so there aren't many details. That's fine; that's what paint is for.

Still, I have not found any animal that I can carve quickly. Cut quickly was a saw, yes. But once the knife is used, the takes a long time.

Here are the animals before painting or sanding:

The giraffe necks took a lot of work, as did the legs. The bodies are very boxy.  They were cut from a 2" x 4" with the two pieces, neck and neck overlapping. I cut earlier pictures and will add them soon.

The fish is simple and mostly fun. The main challenge is quickly getting the fins and tail thin enough. A blocky tail just looks wrong.

The deer were fun and mostly done by keyhole saw and then coping saw.  There is a bit of story to their creation. I used this template.  I don't have an electric saw or room to place one if I did so I used a hand coping saw. I also don't have a vise. I used a clamp but since is pinched the wood at only a small spot, my sawing put too much pressure on the neck and snapped the first deer's neck. At work, I used a vise and since it grips the wood across a wide area, and the positioning was so much better, I was able to cut these deer very fast. Maybe twenty minutes for two. They don't have pleasing contours but still the basic shape is very obvious. And fast! 

The necks of the two giraffes went from recognizable to pleasing with a good sanding.

I work at two LTCHs (Long Term Care Home) and in one is a coworker who is both an excellent painter and painting teacher. One technique I learned from her, perhaps obvious to others, is to paint the lightest colour needed first and dry it. She uses a hair dryer but we waited overnight. So we somewhat sloppily painted one or two colours - fur brown and beige antlers for the deer - and the next day added other elements. For the giraffes, the plan was to paint them a light tan one day and the darker spots the next.

These aren't art grade carvings so it was silly for me to imagine the residents of the LTCHs would attempt art grade painting. They did attempt, and manage, fun grade painting. We all had a lot of fun

I will definitely make more deer, perhaps enough to try to sell the completed works, next year. Both LTCHs I work at have bazaars and the sale of products made by residents - as tree ornaments  perhaps - would go well.

And as my saw work improves, maybe I will try giraffes again. The iconic long neck is easy to identify so the finished work is not as confusing as dogs or cats might be - I probably wouldn't be able to carve -quickly or not - enough detail to allow people to recognize the difference.