Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Carving Alabaster

July 3, 2014

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The Alabaster Stone in large 90# blocks, ready for something creative to take place and reveal the beauty within.

Recently we started carving Alabaster stone. We’ve been wanting to try it out for some time.  Although it can be carved and sanded with the same tools, it has proven to be more challenging and quite a bit messier. Just like “Pig Pen” from the Peanuts cartoon, a white cloud follows us when we work with it. Scott has found that he unfortunately can’t use the chainsaw on it, due to the aggressive nature of it because the stone will break apart much easier. So it takes longer to use the grinders to carve intricate designs. And due to the hairline cracks that may exist in the stone, he has to be careful during the carving process or the whole piece will just crack wide open. We are enjoying the new medium and the different element it allows us to show. Scott’s creative juices can really flow and grow carving the stone.

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The color variations in the Alabaster is incredible. The above bowl was made from the Pink Alabaster and has Ebony wood on the rim. This was one of the first pieces Scott carved. He created some curves and gentle waves to bring out the beautiful colors. The Ebony wood rim adds an incredible contrast between the colors.

grey alabaster vessel

This piece was one of the most recent created. It is a Grey Alabaster. The stone was odd shaped, so this canyon shape was created. The grey stone has a different array of colors going through, like, green, tan, white and grey.

purple heart and alabaster

This was also carved from a small piece of the Grey Alabaster and has Purple Heart on the rim.

three ways through

This beauty was carved from a large block of the Red Alabaster and has Bubinga wood attached to the tunnel openings and used for the base. Three tunnels were carved out of the stone creating this incredible sculpture. The red of the Bubinga shows off all the red tones in the stones. You have to see this piece in person to really appreciate how beautiful it is.

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Mesquite Hall Table and new vessels

December 3, 2010

Not only were we working on our cabin, but we still had a business to run. Shows to exhibit at, furniture and vessels to make for those shows and customer orders to fill. Below are some new pieces that we completed for the mesquite show in October. This was a successful show for us, not only in sales, but a feature on CNNireport interviewing me at the show, www.ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-505989   and an opportunity to send a few pieces to England. We will be sending our mesquite Shangrila Rocker, some of the mesquite vessels pictured below and a mesquite ribbon sculpture, also pictured below. We are very excited to go abroad and to see how our creativity is accepted over there. Thanks to Amie and Joe Prest at Hill Country Mesquite www.hillcountrymesquite.com for presenting this opportunity to us and vesting their time and money to make this all happen.

The mesquite festivals are our favorite shows. We get a chance to meet up and visit with old friends and customers and meet new people. These shows have some wonderful people that exhibit and put it on with a lot of creative ideas. We all share the same love, hate relationship with mesquite. To see more of these wonderful artists, please visit www.texasmesquiteassn.org .

The hall table pictured below was made from a gorgeous slab of mesquite. The top and middle are a natural slab and the legs are bentwood lamination. These two unique features blend well together and give the piece a contemporary rustic look. Scott inlayed a walnut bowtie on the top to secure a large crack andthis uniqe and difficult feature adds even more to this piece. It is approximately 5ft long and 14″ wide.

                                             

                                          

These vessels were all carved first with the chainsaw and then grinders were used to do all the finess work. The canyon shape has been quite popular for us and comes in all sizes. The one below is the smallest, at approximately 12″ T x 12″L x 5″W.  The large wavy bowl has a lot of folds and waves in it that are quite difficult to create. Scott has to be careful to not go through the wood with both the chainsaw and grinders while creating these. It is approximately 18″ Diameter and 12″ Tall. The smaller vessel is shaped like a vase, with simpler waves created. It is approximately 8″T and 5″ Diameter. Lapis was inlayed into this piece for a different look. The last one is a juniper vessel called “Lily of the Valley”. Scott did some unique carving that curves up the piece on both the outside and inside. It was carved from an approximate 600 year old Juniper tree.Scott left a section of a branch on the top along with some of the bark. I went all out with the turqoise and inlayed it in some of the folds, along with the cracks and voids. This made the sanding quite difficult, but it looks good. It perches on a cherry burl base and is approximately 26″T x 18″ Diameter narrowing down to the base.

                                          

                Mesquite Canyon vessel w/turquouise                                                     Large Mesquite Wave Bowl w/turquoise

                                                 

               Small Mesquite vase with Lapis                                                                               “Lily of the Valley” Juniper vessel

                    

                                            “RIBBON DANCER” Mesquite Sculpture

Our new ribbon sculptures have been getting a lot of attention. We sold a large wall one at the mesquite show. This “Ribbon Dancer” sculpture was made from mesquite with turquoise inlayed into the cracks. Creating this piece involved gluing up a few layers of mesquite into a block. Then Scott uses the bandsaw to cut out some of the wood and switches over to a chainsaw to start the shape. Grinders are used to do the finess work to get the end result. The shapes are endless and Scotts mind is always working to create new ones. These can be made in a lot of sizes and out of many different woods. This piece is approximately 2ft T x 5″W

Stay tuned for more of these unique pieces soon. We are getting ready for the Southwest Art Festival www.indiochamber.org/southwest held in the Palm Springs area, January 28-30, so we will have a few more new pieces to show off.  To see more vessels please visit our website. www.shangrilawoodworks.com

Mesquite Table Top with turquoise

June 14, 2010

This beautiful mesquite table top was for a customer in Ohio. It was to be placed on a custom metal base. The size of this top was 90 x 40. We were able to come across some beautiful long pieces of mesquite all from the same tree and two of them were book matching. It is very hard to come across mesquite this long and wide enough to only need three boards to make it. Mesquite is a slow growing tree and extremely hard to work with. Therefore, making it a little pricier than some other domestic woods. But the end result is quite worth it. It has a lot of cracks and voids that have to be filled, but adding turquoise or other gems can really make a piece pop. Mesquite makes beautiful furniture.  But we also create carved bowls, vessels and wall sculptures from it as well. On this table top we inlayed Turquoise into some of the natural cracks and crevices. And we were able to leave a little bit of a bullet in the top to add some southwest charm. This piece had some beautiful grain and turned out great. We were happy to hear from the customer that it arrived in good shape and that they were so happy with it.

Ribbon Wall Sculpture

June 14, 2010

Wenge with plywood

Purpleheart with plywood

Closeup of Wenge and plywood

Construction process just before cutting to shape

This ribbon sculpture  was a commissioned piece from a Scottsdale customer. She needed a piece at a certain length and width and we designed this wenge with plywood wall sculpture to fit her needs. The middle is made from plywood. Several pieces are glued up to get the layered affect. Then the Wenge or any other wood is placed on the top and bottom. The pattern is drawn and then a large portion of the wood is cutout with the bandsaw. Grinders are then used to do the shaping to resemble a ribbon. The piece lays flat against the wall to hang in any desired direction. This was a fun piece to make, so we therefore created another out of purpleheart and have one in the making out of mesquite. These unique wall sculptures can be made out of any type of wood from a solid piece to combining the plywood or other contrasting woods. They start at $1200.00 and go up depending on the wood.

New Mexico Magazine Artist Profile

March 15, 2010

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We are so proud to have New Mexico Magazine do another artist profile on us. The first profile was a few years ago on some bowls we made. However, the profile for their most recent April 2010 issue (available now) will showcase our Black Walnut with Curly Cherry Rocking chair. 

This rocker featured our contrasting wood joints (as seen above), where the seat and the legs meet. The black walnut came from an old growth tree (approximately 600 years old) along the Hondo River outside of Ruidoso NM and had the most  incredible figure we have ever seen in walnut. The walnut had very dark, almost black burling  along with blond sap wood. The contrast between the walnut and the curly cherry was very striking. The curly cherry which has beautiful tiger figuring was used on the back spindles, inlayed into the runners and wrapped around the joints.

We are very excited about this profile in New Mexico Magazine, since it is a highly saught after magazine across the US. The calls are already coming in on this profile. The woodworker and his wife that we made the rocker for were so excited and surprised to see their rocker in the magazine, that they called us right away.

To see more pictures of the Black Walnut with Curly Cherry rocker, please visit our website: www.shangrilawoodworks.com

Or see it featured here on our blog, under the pages sections.

visit www.nmmagazine.com

Rocking Chair Class

March 10, 2010

We just finished up a rocking chair class with a gentleman that flew in from Virginia, to make a rocker for his first grandchild. This class is based on a Sam Maloof style rocking chair with our own design elements implemented. I am posting some of the photos from that class, along with some brief descriptions of what is going on. As soon as Dr. Peck finishes his rocker up, I will post pictures of it. The 6 day class went real good. It was a pretty muddy mess up here and we got some snow, but otherwise the weather was ok. Dr. Peck stayed at a cabin nearby and just loved it. He went hiking in the mornings before the class and at night sat out and stargazed (we have some magnificent night skies up here).

We decided to modify our classes and offer them more as a “Woodworking Retreat”. We still offer the rocking chair and chair classes, but have added a class on bentwood lamination and vessel carving. Our classes now include the nights stay at the cabin as well. We want people to enjoy their stay up here as they are learning. Our area has a lot to offer if you want to escape the city and enjoy peace, quiet, outdoor activities and wildlife. So if you are curious about learning how to make your own rocker or any of our other classes, go to our classes page on our website and see all the additions and changes we made. www.shangrilawoodworks.com/classes

Dr. Peck has made some furniture pieces for he and his family, but did comment on how much more involved making a rocker was. Since he had to fly back home and wanted to avoid shipping a fully assembled rocker, it was roughly put together and then dissasembled for packing. We decided to offer this with all our classes, to make it easier and cheaper for someone to get their piece back home. There is a little more work involved after getting home, but this also keeps things fresh in their minds so they can complete their rocker.

We all had a lot of fun, learned a lot and I do believe Dr. Peck was quite tired at the end.

 

This picture shows a runner being glued up in the bending form. There are a lot of clamps that have to be used for this. Tom is really putting some muscle into tightening the clamp.

Here Tom is grinding the joint area, where the seat and legs meet. When he gets home and starts putting the rocker back together, he will finish up the shaping of these areas.

This photo shows how the rocker is coming together. The arms and joint areas are done, except what final work Tom will need to do at home. The spindles and headrest are also being testfit here.

Tom finally gets to try out his rocker. I do believe after 6 long intense days, that he’s a little tired here. But well worth it. After this photo, the rocker was disassembled and packed away for the flight back to Virginia. Amazing that the rocker fit in three bags.

We had a great time that week with Tom and look forward to getting photos of it completed and with the new mom and grandbaby rocking in it.

For more photos on our rocking chairs please visit our website.

www.shangrilawoodworks.com/rockers

For our rocking chair construction process please visit:

www.shangrilawoodworks.com/rockerbuilding

For information on our classes please visit:

www.shangrilawoodworks.com/classes