Thursday, August 02, 2012

I will cut you....

Believe it or not, I spent about two and a half years as a sculpture major in college, carving wood, marble, casting bronze and glass, and fabricating jewelry. In the end, I found I preferred the function of furniture, rather than the aesthetics of art. And that's why furniture won out.

What do they call it - street cred? I have a little street cred with a chisel.

So I finally decided what I wanted to carve - at least on the footboard of the bed I'm making. Back in the day, I would sketch whatever I wanted to carve right onto the wood. Now - it's just easier to print it out with my computer, and rubber cement it down.

Carving on this Sassafras is wonderful - its fragrance is lovely, and there's a zen quality to just sitting on a stool, listing to some mellow music, tap-tap-tapping away.

Working with wood this soft, I prefer to use an X-Acto for carving.

Generally, it's easiest to cut a line right down the middle of the letter, and then carve into the letter at an angle from each side. (I hope I'm not boring my mom.)

I love this font, but carving all these curves was a bit of a challenge.

My hand is still a little jacked up from it. Advil helps.

Once everything was carved, I did a small test on the wood - simply oiling it, to see if the lettering would "pop" enough to see. It didn't.

So I decided to use MilkPaint inside the lettering. Because the wood is such a gorgeous golden color, I'd been envisioning a chocolate brown color for the lettering. Only problem? I have every color but brown in my MilkPaint collection.

So I called my friend Stacey, who is an amazing painter. If anyone would know how to mix up some brown, it would be her. And thanks to her expertise, I was able to mix up exactly what I had in mind.

Let the painting begin!

I decided to mask off some of the wood first, so I painted around the letters with rubber cement - a simple masking agent. Then I added the paint inside the carved area.

When it dried, I cleaned off the cement with a pick-up, and sanded the wood clean.

Here's the footboard, carved, painted, oiled and mostly complete. I may go back and fix the "g" in sleeping, it isn't quite the same as the "g" in dogs, and it's bugging me. I may need to widen it up a little but, to give each letter the same appearance and weight. Still, I'm pretty happy with the end result.

All that is left is decision-making - what do I want to do with the headboard? I've been sketching for days and still haven't come up with anything that I'm crazy about.

By the way, about that title... I will cut you. Here's your laugh for the day. (Thanks, Theresa!)

No comments: