Here’s a quick little project I built last weekend. A wooden intarsia piece featuring everyone’s favorite Jango clone and Ahsoka-friend, Captain Rex (@deebradleybaker) from Star Wars: Clone Wars. What can I say? I’m excited as hell for Season 7 next month! And why build 1 when I can build 2? The second one went to my fellow SW geek and woodworker buddy Luke @cyclocrosscutter. Made from regular, curly, and spalted maple, purpleheart, katalox, wenge, walnut, cherry, and luaun ply. PS pretend the purpleheart is blue. Unfortunately, blueheart wood isn’t a thing. And I don’t usually do stains/dyes.
“I Can’t Carry It For You…” 3D Wooden light-up “Lord of the Rings” intarsia art, roughly based on the scene when Sam carries Frodo into Mt. Doom (“but I CAN carry you!”).
I’m finally ready to call this piece done! It ended up taking me 2 months to complete, despite initially planning it to be simpler and quicker than my Han/Chewie/Millenium Falcon piece. Ha! I always thought Samwise Gamgee was the real hero of the story and I decided a scene of him carrying Frodo into Mt. Doom might be a cool artwork with LEDs. My first design had much fewer layers, with the characters much larger. But I decided to add Barad-Dur, Shelob, and the black gate, which changed the scale dramatically (and made it almost 6” thick, and 24” tall). Obviously I’ve taken some liberties as they were much closer to the entrance when he carried Frodo (and Shelob was dead by then). Plus their scale isn’t exactly accurate. But they needed to be large enough to see. Everything was cut by hand on scroll saw and hand carved for the characters. I built this from crab apple, walnut, and cherry I milled up myself from reclaimed urban trees, as well as katalox (thanks @rapfohl), spalted hackberry (thanks @chipdwoodworks), reclaimed mahogany, red oak, poplar, canarywood, and ebony, with a maple frame. My wife @tamarynart did her pyrography magic to burn the “One ring to rule them all…” inscription into the frame. There are 4 LEDs running off three AA batteries, colored orange with acetate film. Shelob serves as the power button. The eye is a walnut pupil embedded in multiple layers of watercolored resin. I’m pretty stoked to have this thing shining over our “lair” across from the Millenium Falcon! Note: the build process was documented in many stories now highlighted on my Instagram profile.
I built this artwork of Han Solo and Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon over the course of 7 weeks from ~190 hand-cut (scrollsawed) pieces of wood from over 20 different species, most of it reclaimed. The star trails were also scrollsawed and filled with resin. I designed it in Adobe Illustrator, based on a movie still frame. Although the original plan was much simpler, over the course of the project I ended up adding an Adafruit soundboard with 6 scores that play through 1 button (the small white one), and 10 movie dialogue clips that play through another (the left thruster stick). A rebel insignia button on the right of the frame powers the sound. Toward the end of the project, I decided to add radiating Adafruit DotStar LED strips controlled by three different programs I coded on an Arduino Uno, which can be switched by moving Han’s dice (made in a previous project) containing an embedded magnet. The top of the frame has 2 hidden magnetic switches embedded within it. The light power is currently controlled by telling my phone “Hey Siri, punch it!” Or “Exit hyperspace”.
Note: this is not for sale. This was for me alone. The entire process was documented in well over 200 Instagram stories, now highlighted on my profile in 3 parts. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) I have to give HUGE heartfelt thanks to the many many people constantly offering encouragement and advice. You’re seriously the only reason I posted all the build details. Of course, I’d like to thank George Lucas and the countless artists of all types who’ve made Star Wars such a fun Universe.
I can finally share this wedding gift that @tamarynart and I made for my niece Sydney @spudknee and her new hubby Sylas @schnazzysylas! They spent their honeymoon in Ireland and just got back. We spent almost two months slowly pulling this together. The oil painting shows the Cliffs of Moher – painted on curly maple. It’s the first painting I’ve done in years and it shows. Haha. But I’m happy with it, all things considered. I scroll-sawed Ireland into a walnut board, and framed it in cherry with maple splines. I also hand carved the Celtic love knot. @tamarynart designed and burned the frame details. She also included a couple of burned kitchen utensils. Hopefully this will remind you both of fun times and great stories for decades to come! We love you both!
I can finally reveal my “family portrait” of the Jasper family, consisting of the Copper Pig himself (Paul @copper_pig_fine_woodworking), his wife Vicky (@jasperfarms – the fact that she raises chickens and teaches yoga is all I knew about her), their daughter the talented Copper Piglet, and of course Henry, their furry son.
This whole project came about because we had a trip to Boston planned for a family reunion. I had mentioned it to Paul a while back and he essentially said “stop on by!!”. Paul has been a huge inspiration to me and has helped a number of times in my woodworking. Our message history is just rife with advice, tool recommendations, and general encouragement. He once video chatted with me on how to make my “Three Rivers Table” so that it didn’t destroy itself with seasonal wood movement, drawing out floating tenons on a napkin. Everyone in the community knows what a positive force he is, constantly supporting other makers with shout outs, collaborations, encouragement, trades, and purchases. It doesn’t hurt that he’s part of our brotherhood of PhD scientists moonlighting as artists/craftspeople. Basically he’s my #mancrushmonday. My idea was to just make a quick little pig or something for when we visited him in Boston. As soon as I started designing it, this “family portrait” idea hit me. Once it did, I really had no choice but to make it. The design snowballed and I ended up spending a couple weeks on it. The idea demanded I finish it as envisioned. That’s just usually how it goes when I get excited about something.
Made from 14 species: African stinkwood (from an antique chair my mother-in-law @sledv_life_rocks bought in South Africa in the 1970s. This is a species that is no longer commercially available due to overharvesting and subsequent protection. It was exterminated on Table mountain, in the shadows of which my wife @tamarynart was partially raised), walnut, bocote, yew, spalted maple, bubinga, ash, cherry, ebony, bloodwood, sumac, aspen, and two unknown species from an exotic hardwood pallet. Designed in Adobe Illustrator and cut it via scrollsaw.