Showing posts with label woodworking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label woodworking. Show all posts

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Home-Made Eco-Friendly Truck, Unfolds Into a Castle

There are many passionate woodworkers who either have, or would love to, fit out their own mobile living space, giving it their own unique identity using their woodworking skills, but this beautiful truck which unfolds into a spacious castle from New Zealand couple Justin and Jola just about tops anything I have seen before. Don't forget to watch the video at the end of the article.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Matchstick Men by Wolfgang Stiller

In 2013 German artist Wolfgang Stiller had been experimenting with art materials leftover in his studio from a movie production in china while he was residing in beijing.  This is when he began his matchstick project with moulds of Chinese faces and bamboo.

Sunday, 25 January 2015


Family business in Colorado Springs specialise in turning the profile image of you or your loved ones into unique wooden keepsakes.

Turn Your Head is a family run business based in Colorado Springs U.S. who cleverly use the  'Face versus Vase'  illusion to create a permanent profile portrait of your loved ones.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Wooden Popsicle by Johnny Hermann

Johnny Hermann is the alter-ego of the craftsman and designer Mauro Savoldi from Milan.
He re-creates the vibrant, colourful magic of summer ices in objects of minimal design, recalling one of the sweetest and most nostalgic treasures of our past.

The original popsicle was invented by an 11-year-old boy in San Francisco in 1905 – and by a strange coincidence it was a piece of wood that made the whole story possible! 
Childhood memories and fresh emotions are fused in the shape and materials of these creations.

Monday, 14 July 2014

The Swimmer by Stephanie Rocknak

This amazing piece was completed by Stephanie Rocknak in 2007. It was carved from a single piece of basswood and is slightly larger than lifesize. It is part of a 3-piece commission, The Triathlete. The other two pieces include The Biker and The Runner.

Each Triathlete piece shows a sense of movement. As Rocknak tells us, "These days, I am not very interested in sculpted figures, or real people, that 'strike a pose.' I am much more intrigued by folks who are on their way to or from somewhere. They seem more genuine to me."

Friday, 4 July 2014

Self Sorting (sorta) Bin

I stumbled across this neat little hardware organiser on Craftster and just had to share. It fascinated me for it's simplicity of construction and the fact that it can be adapted and utilised for other bits 'n' bobs that need organising and separating in the craft world.

This was created by a guy who goes by the name of  Wulf  working as a theatrical prop builder and from Toronto. Although this design is fairly basic to look at you could go to any lengths with the woodwork to make it look fancy.

Friday, 30 May 2014

The Bloodwood Tree

I wonder why it's called a 'Bloodwood' tree ?

Below is a picture of the Bloodwood tree (Pterocarpus angolensis) it is a deciduous, spreading and slightly flat-crowned tree with a high canopy. It reaches about 15 metres in height, has dark bark and is native to southern Africa. Bloodwood is also a name given to a native Australian variety (Corymbia Terminalis) and a genus of plants in the mulberry family (Brosimum Rubescens) native to tropical regions of the Americas and used for decorative woodworking.

Bloodwood tree (Pterocarpus angolensis)
Pterocarpus angolensis is a kind of teak native to southern Africa, known by various names such as Kiaat, Mukwa, and Muninga. It is also called the Bloodwood tree, so named for the tree’s remarkable dark red coloured sap. A chopped trunk or a damaged branch of the tree starts dripping deep red fluid, almost like a severed limb of an animal. The sticky, reddish-brown sap seals the wound to promote healing.

The red sap is used traditionally as a dye and in some areas mixed with animal fat to make a cosmetic for faces and bodies. It is also believed to have magical properties for the curing of problems concerning blood, apparently because of its close resemblance to blood. The tree is also used for treating many medical conditions such as ringworm, stabbing pains, eye problems, malaria, blackwater fever, stomach problems and to increase the supply of breast milk.

The wood makes high-quality furniture, as it can be easily carved, glues and screws well and takes a fine polish. It shrinks very little when drying from the green condition, and this quality, together with its high durability, makes it particularly suitable for boat building, canoes and bathroom floors.
Because of its great value to the indigenous peoples of the central and southern Africa, these trees are being harvested at an unsustainable rate leading to its decline in recent decades.

Watch the video below of the sawing of a Bloodwood tree.


Friday, 14 March 2014

Making Wooden Kitchen Spoons and Similar Utensils

Wooden Spoons 'Hidden' in Trees

I Came across this interesting excerpt from:  Garden Farm Skills. Gene Longsdon (1985) 
A foraging skill I have yet to perfect myself but thought it was well worth sharing. If readers would like to add their own opinions  and experiences on this article, it would be much appreciated.

"There are only two little secrets to making spoons, ladles, and forks out of wood. The first is that you don’t carve the spoon from a block of wood; rather, you find a branch with a spoon in it.
Nothing mysterious about that advice. A proper spoon or ladle must have a curve in the handle to be designed for easy use — those straight-handled wooden spoons you can buy cheap are almost unusable except to stir with. You might be able to steam bend a straight piece of wood to the proper curve, but that would be hard work. What you dare not do is cut the curve into a piece of wood across the grain. Such a spoon easily breaks. Therefore, when he is cutting firewood or when he is in the woods, a spoon maker keeps a sharp eye out for branches that have a natural curve in them to make the curved handle. It becomes, in fact, great sport to find the spoons in the wood.
Then there’s the second secret. Having once found a proper branch or crotch, never carve your spoon from the very center of it. Again, that would make a very weak spoon. Instead, cut the branch in two along the centre line and carve a spoon in each half where the grain is thick enough, width-wise, to make a strong handle.
Rough out the spoon with a handsaw or, if available, a band saw or table saw. In fact, I do most of the rougher carving on the band saw, cutting away little by little, with my eye on the grain of the wood, which determines the curve of the handle, until the spoon begins to appear. I even roughly shape the bowl on the band saw.
Carve out the rest with a sharp knife and perhaps hollow out the spoon bowl with a chisel or gouge. Because I have a drill press at my disposal, I do most of the finish carving with a rasp bit, especially nice for hollowing out the bowl and rounding the bottom. I level, balance, and thin the spoon down to proper proportion, trusting my eye rather than measuring. I rasp and look, rasp and look, making sure that the drill press is so set that it cannot rasp down through the spoon bowl and out the bottom. I finish up with pocketknife and sandpaper.
Walnut is the best of the good hardwoods for carving because it carves easily despite its hardness. White oak is harder to carve but I like it — especially if it is a branch that is beginning to deteriorate just a little. Unusual markings, and often unusual colors, will show up in the finished piece. But almost any wood will do. A spoon is an easy evening’s work. The ones pictured here took only an hour each to make — once I found a proper piece of wood.


Saturday, 1 March 2014

Giuseppe Penone: The Hidden Life Within

The image below is one I have skipped past many times while surfing for 'woody wonders' but have only just got round to investigating further.

“My artwork shows, with the language of sculpture, the essence of matter and tries to reveal with the work, the hidden life within.”
–Giuseppe Penone

Giuseppe Penone (born April 3, 1947) is an Italian artist. Penone started working professionally in 1968 in the Garessio forest, near where he was born. He is the younger member of the Italian movement named "Arte Povera", Penone's work is concerned with establishing a contact between man and nature.

Guiseppe Penone carves out a young tree within an older tree to reveal its past, showing us what once grew inside so that it may now "live in the present." Inspired by the quiet slowness of growth in the natural world, the artist asks us to take a moment to stop and think about the concept of time and how there's a common vital force in all living things.

Penone has carved out the wood to reveal its past, showing the tree that grew inside so that it may “live” in the present. Rather than imposing a form, the artist — in contrast to the architect of this space — draws out an existing form.

The next image of  Guiseppe working within the space of this massive tree in my mind captures the enormity of the artists devotion to this piece.

Monday, 10 February 2014

River Mirrors by Caryn Moberly

These stunning mirrors by Caryn Moberly can be hung horizontally or vertically and have an amazing fluid feel to them.

Caryn Moberly is a British furniture designer whose designs are recognised for their originality and fun. Many of her designs are inspired by natural shapes.

Pippy Oak River Mirror.    Size 1.3m x 0.70m

Although most of Caryn's designs use burred elm, the example above is of pippy oak. Here is how Caryn describes her mirrors.  “I love my river mirror design because it has all the elements of a real river valley. The shape of the banks is created by the effect of natural elements on the tree, the location of the tree and its history. The knotty burrs represent rock formations. Even the annual rings in the wood represent contour lines on a map.

I like the way they manage to combine a very modern rectangular shape with a wild natural form.

This is a particular favourite of mine from Caryn's collection for the green tinge in the grain.

She has exhibited at a number of prestigious shows and has been selected to exhibit with the British European Design Group. Caryn has an MA in Furniture Design and Technology at Buckinghamshire New University.

Caryn Moberly's web site:

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Randall Rosenthal and 'Cold Hard Cash'

When you study the work of Randall Rosenthal you can't help but be in awe of this mans talent, the way he emulates a stack of paper from solid blocks of wood reminds me of Livio De Marchi's carving skills when creating his wooden clothing.  Lets start off by taking a look at:

'Cold Hard Cash'   2012 , acrylic and ink on one block of Vermont White Pine, 14 x 14 x 10" 

It doesn't matter how long you look at this piece you cannot convince yourself it is carved from one solid block of white pine then diligently painted. Here are some great shots of the work in progress.

Randall Rosenthal.

BORN:           1947 New York, New York
EDUCATION:  1965-69 Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

A personal favourite of mine is 'Cutting Board'  because of the variety of materials he has so successfully copied.

'Cutting board'  in progress.

And here, a selection of some of Randall's other pieces, it's hard to remember these are all carved from solid blocks of wood !

If you wish to fully explore the weird world of Randall Rosenthal check out his website:

Other sources:

Randall's forum posts of  'Old Money' on