Late August 2011- Ends of Eras
The end of the one child era:
When I started this post more than three months ago, the imminent arrival of our newest daughter Penelope, stress levels in the design studio had increased. This meant that I was stressed out at the time, because the studio is all in my head. Not that I am any less busy now, but stress levels seem to have decreased somewhat.
Little Penny arrived on July 25, 5 days early, satisfying both Erica, who wanted it to be a little early, and me, because I didn’t get the call while I was at work.
She's grown a bit since July :)
I made quite a bit of pen progress prior to her arrival, and a little afterward, and Erica has taken pictures of them now, so they are in my ballpark again to write up descriptions for them for posting at the store (www.acrylicandsteel.etsy.com).
I’ve now made slimline, slimline pro, Designer NT, Polaris, .30 cal bullet, and big cigar rollerball/ballpoint pens, some fountain pens (several styles), two sketch pencils, several light pulls, a salt grinder, a bottle stopper, and a ice cream scoop. I'm probably missing some at this point. Wood turning is fun!
I tried to make a few more than I have, and made a few mistakes. I tried several times to make an Ancient Kauri pen, with a variety of problems. I did manage a AK light pull though. Hopefully by the time I finish this post I will have been successful. I've broken a couple of click pens, not sure why they aren't working right - so far only one success on those.
Friend Bill, who will be off to Art School in London in a couple of weeks, enlisted my aid in making a special pen for a friend, and whipped up a nice simple maple slimline for himself. Bills gone for a year and we miss him, but the pen got finished and a similar one for a friend of the friend as a result!
Friend of Friends Pen
I just wrapped up a pair of knives, both for family, a nice hunter and a santoku style kitchen knife. Still have 8-9 in the moderately close phase, but not there yet. The most recent of all was an interesting hunter/fighter knife that I made for friend Rocketpants' trip to Australia. I finished it in time, and it went off and returned with him.
The end of the charcoal forge era:
In addition to being a proud father of a new child, I am also the proud owner of a NEW FORGE!!! Finally, I’ve moved from my interesting but inconsistent charcoal forge to a gas NC Tool Whisper Forge. Hopefully this will give me a little more flexibility, a more rapid heat up, a higher temp, etc…
Sadly, I haven't had the time or mental energy lately to work much on it, but it is a lot faster to get going..
This brings me to the experimental phase:
Mokume gane – I’ve stacked about 24 layers of brass, copper and nickel-silver sandwiched in steel, heated and hammered. Results...Not so good, some bits worked, other bits didn't. Probably the wrong kind of flux. Better luck next time.
Wire Damascus – Using some nasty rusty wire from some flood barriers, I’ve heated, fluxed and hammered. I’m not happy with it at this point, so I will probably do it again, or fold and repeat. I think the rust may have interfered with a good weld. Definitely need to work on my forge welding skills - all of my welding skills are pretty much non-existent though.
I think I'll leave it at that.
Happy Halloween Everyone!