April + May + Covid-19 = Shop Changes

I’m certain that this blogs title isn’t a shocking revelation to anyone, this pandemic has changed us and the world we live in tremendously.  If you too are an artistic type you’re probably somewhat accustomed to working in isolation but now we can’t even leave our space to get a quick cup of coffee, bite to eat, or visit another artist!  The two places I show my work  are currently closed. My frame clients tell me the gallery they show their work in is closed and/or the show they’ve been accepted into has been postponed so the need for my work has dwindled.  Rather than dwell on those negatives I’ve tried to find different outlets for my creative juices and now have the time to pursue them and either fail trying or find some new venues for success.  Allow me to share what I’ve been doing.

House Projects:  Anyone of you that are homeowners know there is always something that you can modify, improve, or repair around your home.  We had a spot on our patio that the previous owner had designated as a planter but the sun never shone so nothing ever lived!  It became a great little spot of dirt to gather leaves and an occasional weed.  Decided to dig it out and add cement so now the bbq can be closer to the patio and out of the sun.  Another house project is redoing the fireplace mantle to fit our sense of style more than what’s there now.  Combination of Baltic Birch and mosaic tile; full blog to follow on that one.

Frame Projects: The more unusual project here was to create a frame with different layers of wood which were then gessoed and painted.  You can read about it in this blog.  As usual, corner sample was made first to make sure that what I envisioned in my mind could become a reality.

Boxes: This was a hard area for me to be enthused about.  The two places that carry them are currently closed.  One is the Mesa Art Center Store and the other is the Anticus gallery which is also in the process of moving to old town Scottsdale.  I’ve been wanting to experiment with a mid-century or art deco style box with a drawer so used this “no pressure” opportunity to do that.  Came up with these two from wood I had in stock, one is Pine with Walnut the other Big Leaf Maple with Sapele.  You’ll need to click on each image to get the full view, not sure why!

Triton Belt/Spindle Sander

The legs added a new, creative element to the design and the free form handles were fun to create.  To my eye, there is a sense of motion to them; some playfulness rather than the typical static box.  The drawers feature half blind dovetails, any project I can use to maintain/improve hand tool woodworking skills is a good one.  After making the template for the legs they were cut out on the bandsaw.  The technique I use when doing curved shapes on furniture is to use a spokeshave to refine the shape which wasn’t successful here.  I ended up buying a Triton combination belt/spindle sander and it works great for this application.


Grandsons Initial Plaques

Carving Work:  Carving tends to be an activity that I get into and before you know it the day is gone!!  One project was carving these initial plaques for my grandsons to paint and decorate for their room as an art project while being home schooled.




Two other plaques were these, the cat was copied from a ceramic tile while the dachshund is from a photograph — anything to stay off of the couch!

Well, that takes care of the past few months since the pandemic hit.  Hope all of you are doing well in spite of it — know that “this too will change”!


About woodworksbyjohn

I'm a retired woodshop teacher. I build one of a kind furniture pieces and custom picture frames. You can see some of my currently available work, boxes, carvings through my Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/WoodworksbyJohn?ref=si_shop Contact me about your project -- always up for the challenge of unique work.
This entry was posted in Artist, Carving, custom profile, custom profile, Hand Tool Woodworking, Mesa Arts Center Store, Picture Frames and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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