Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A mask for a Monster

Back in my wood carving days, I carved a mask out of the stump of a tree I removed for a family friend. It looked too interesting to just discard, so I let it dry and years later formed it into a mask.
The idea behind the sculpture is that it is a mask worn by a monster to lure unsuspecting people to it. You can see the shape of the monster's head in the negative space at the back of the mask.
The wood turned out to be really bad for carving and the nose kept breaking off. Each time it happened I had to cave the face deeper. At the end I decided to leave the nose blunt. 
The way the eyes were formed, with the large opening in the front and the small holes in the back, caused the eyes to follow you as you moved around it. Some people found this quite unnerving. 

I exhibited the mask on several occasions 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Carving Ria

In the beginning I was a woodcarver. Wood carving is one of the cheaper methods to make sculptures, especially if you use wood stumps that you pick up on the side of the road, when there are trees being felled. 

Ria is carved from a piece of black thorn wood. It was not completely dry when I started carving it. During the carving process, it stood outside for about 6 months. This caused it to crack in the carved areas, most noticeably over the face. On finishing, I decided to worked with the cracks instead of trying to concealing them.

After standing 6 months outside, the cracks started to form.
Ria was girl I dated for a short while at the end of my second year studying IT. She moved back to Johannesburg that December, but we tried to keep the relationship going.  This was pre-internet so it was difficult. On a visit the next year, it became apparent that the relationship was not working. The person I loved was not the person I met after months of separation.  My love did not exist, I was obsessing over a dream. After a long struggle accepting the facts, I carved the image of the dream in wood, and moved on.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


With all the guns I am making and intend to make, I found that I need a way to display them. I decided on an old school gun rack, but in keeping with the style of my AK47, I decided to make it out of plywood that was painted before it was cut.

This project got me thinking on what a gun rack is and was. A gun rack was used in the old days to display you guns, making them easily accessible, but now nobody would be crazy enough to display their guns. We hide them. A gun has become something that people would want to steal, not to mention that a you need, by law to keep it in a safe. A gun rack serves no purpose in the modern day. Except now.

It might be worth mentioning that every part of this was made on a band-saw, so no line is truly straight and that the hooks were not accurately measured, cut and filed. This lack of good finish does go in against everything I have learned to do, but it is the style of the rack and it adds to the look of the final product. I'm quite glad at the end result.

Painted and cut, the parts are ready for assembly

The original plan was that the rack would be mounted on the wall, but the bottom shelf made a good stand

All the weapon facing surfaces was covered in red felt

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

LP case Toolbox - Part 2

With the LP case restored I proceeded to build a set of drawers that could house the tools. There was enough space to house 7 drawers and a box at the top. 

The drawer shelves slot into a set of posts at the front and back.

All the sides and bases of the drawers. I used the jigsaw to do the rough cutting before finishing them off with the band-saw.

The drawers was constructed with glue and nails

The drawers had to be sanded to fit into the shelving

Finishing was a layer of varnish, sanded with steel-wool and oil

The final product

For the drawer handles I used leather tags

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

LP case Toolbox - Part 1

I bought an old LP carry case at a flea market. What I liked about it, was that the corner joints is a row dove tails. The only person I could think of that spend that much effort making a dovetail LP case is a matric student in a seventies woodwork class.  I wonder how many love affairs this case and the music it carried, cemented.

I decided to make a toolbox from it, for all my leather working and sewing tools. The first part of the project was to clean up the box, make the front panel a lid, stain the insides and varnish it.

The LP case I started with

The front panel was removed with a club hammer as the space inside was no enough to swing a normal sized hammer

The final position of the lids

All fittings removed the whole case got sanded down

The plywood front panel lost a layer of wood on the bottom edge with the removal. This was fixed with two veneer strips

A layer of varnish was added and lifting ply layers glued

The varnish was sanded down with steel wool once it had cured. It was finished with a layer of oil.

The front panel lid's hinged was slotted into the bottom

The front lid was attached to the box with hinges

What happened to the box? Wait and see next week!