These are some pictures I sketched while I was living in China. We had some charity auctions that the department ran each month, so I contributed these pieces. Each was put into a nice frame, and were aggressively bid on. I was quite proud that so many people were interested in them. And we raised some money for local charities, so a great day for all!
I made this piece as a thank you to my in-laws. They let us stay at their place both before and after our moves.
My wife's great grandfather was part of an American agricultural outreach program to the USSR and their allies during the cold war. He toured 10 cities over a period of about 18 days. Each flag is a different city that he visited. The legend in the upper left-hand corner provides the cities and dates.
The legend was made with an old typewriter font I found online, and was printed on normal paper. I brewed some tea, painted the paper with the tea, and baked in the oven for about 10 minutes at 125 degrees. I inlayed that into the piece.
The actual piece is hung as two separate pieces, the split is along the old Iron Curtain. Everything on the right is the USSR and their allies, and the left is the Western allies.
The piece was made from yellow pine, and stained dark. I used my router to cut out the water and the legend inlay.
One of my all-time favorite artists is Vincent van Gogh; I love his Starry Night. I am by no means 1/100th of 1 percent as talented, but I wanted to do a version of that painting with my hometown of Detroit. So this piece is my attempt at doing so.
It actually wasn't as hard as I thought it would be when I first envisioned it. I found a nicely grained piece of poplar and stained it a dark color that matches my other furniture in my den. After it dried a few days, I taped off the piece, cut out the skyline with my x-acto knife, and painted the skyline. It only took a few hours, and about a week to dry out completely.
I added it to my Etsy store, in case anyone is interested in a similar piece for their favorite city.
As many of you know, I spent a year living in China, and it was such a great experience. I loved how old everything was. Each time I went to visit something, the guide would tell us how it's several hundred, a thousand, or even several thousand years old. And each place had a fantastic door. Usually 10-12 feet high, highly decorated, and always guarded by some type of animal.
I decided I would try to make something similar to what I experienced over there, and this is my attempt. I picked up some structural lumber from Lowes, distressed it with a homemade chain/flail/morningstar type of weapon, and screwed it together. I went for a more "home-made Hutong" feel for the door rather than a more seamless Western look. The top and bottom bands are painted with a bronze paint that oxidizes and gives a nice patina to the piece.
It was fun to make, and is currently just leaning up against a wall in my living room. Not really sure what else to do with it, but it has grown on me as something different to display, that no one else has (and crazy enough to make/display)
This is another project that I have made several of. It starts with a nice, light colored wood. I then stain it dark, draw out the skyline, and cut away the sky with my router. It can be a little time consuming, but the process is simple enough. I'll add this to my store soon, if I can ever get that set up... Just waiting on my new bank card. Seems no one wants to deliver mail in the snow and ice! Leave me a comment below, or use the contact page if you want me to make one of these for you. I can do whichever city you like.
For my first post, I'll start with what inspired me to make this site. To date, I've made three versions of this map. I'll post some of the other ones I've completed soon. I like to travel and talk about some of the cool places I've been. I put little red flags in each city in which I've traveled, and that sparks some great conversation. People will open up about themselves when they see that they have been to some of the same places.
This particular map is made from pine, stained a nice dark walnut color. I then paint the landmasses onto the piece. The white is actually a nice cream color, not sure if that comes through on the picture. If I had it to do again, I would probably do a relief carving with my router to cut away the water, leaving the land masses the stained dark wood color, with the water being the nice light pine color. I'll have a post about a piece I've made with that technique up soon, as well.
The wood is simply screwed together on the back. I used screws instead of glue as they allow for a little more movement as temperatures and air pressure changes. You don't want the piece to crack! It is hung using a french cleat on the back. With such a heavy piece, you'd need that system to support the weight.