It's been ages since I've dipped into blog writing but I had an urge to give it another go. After toiling with what on earth I should write about I settled on a subject I like. My all time favorite creations we have made! It's been nearly 11 years since we started Entwood Crafts...11 years! We have made all sorts of items some turned out great. Others turned out to be great....firewood. I've long since lost count of the items we made but there are some that really stand out for me. Those projects that when completed, I can look at them and feel like I've just made a great accomplishment.
"What do you like to make the most?" is actually a pretty common question I'm asked. Of course my answer changes from time to time but there is common theme to them all. "Almost everything that I've made once!" is my go to answer. I love creating things but the real magic for me comes when I'm making a new design for the first time. The process of what to cut first, the selection of wood, how to best fit sections together....its all an exciting experience and often times yields surprising results. That unknown element of what to do next and how will it all turn out gets those gears in my dusty head turning and its plain and simple fun!
This guy was a huge challenge! Trying to make it look like it is in mid flight, the aggressive attack stance, the color...all of it was a tricky task. Not only was this a new design but we got to test out a new dyeing technique. Most of the dragon is made from curly maple (a white wood). After all the shaping was finished we dyed the whole thing black. This was the undercoat dye and sanded down about 90% of the black. Then we added the teal color and some clear coats of lacquer. The black undercoat gave sections of the wood a darker tone giving the piece a more mottled reptilian look. It was the first time trying this out and was pretty happy with the results. I'm also obsessed with dragons so...
Squid vs. Nautilus
This was a custom request that I almost turned down but I'm so glad I didn't. About 99% of all things we make are animals so when we were asked to make a submarine, my first reaction was nope....not an animal. After some thought though, I looked at it as a challenge and once that happened I can't just back away from a challenge. The shaping turned out to be far more complex than I originally expected. Animals mostly have soft edges and curves. A submarine is a metal behemoth bolted together with panels of angular ridged metal. It was very different from our other creations which makes it an easy favorite of mine!
As of writing this post we have made this Tiger design twice so it's a bit different than the other one off designs mentioned. This was one of our first large designs and came about in an interesting way. The design at first was just the head. A customer asked if we could make a tiger so I sent them the head design. Their reply: "Where's the body?" Now, the head itself was incredibly detailed as is. Adding the entire body....never even entered my mind. The size was intimidating and this was a project you really don't want to mess up on. The orange wood, chakte viga, is beautiful with an impressive price tag. I was so happy (and relived!) with the final results. The face had so many small detail segments but it all came together.
Old man Winter
Human features are one of those difficult areas for us. You really have to get them near perfect. It doesn't take much at all for a human face to look off. It was something we definitely wanted to improve upon so we were pretty happy when this request came in. In fact, after we made the custom order, we made a few changes and created what you see in the photo. It has a mythical, folklore vibe to it and inspired me to start thinking about creating more mythical themed designs. Haven't had the time to make them a reality yet but they are in my head!