Stuff made for Christmas 2003.

Christmas 2003 was quite an exciting time to be making stuff! For the first time in many years, I didn’t have a major project at work to eat up my time, so I could devote more time to making gifts. I actually started in mid-November, experimenting with a few neat things. Then I bought a new scroll saw, and it was the beginning of December, and my experiments were NOT working out. Despite panic, late hours, many changes of plans, lots of stuff got made and shipped on time. And Santa’s Little Sweatshop ended up looking like a tornado had hit it (see the picture above). Despite all that got made, my original experiments lay here half made and un-sent. Well, I’ve now got the time to tinker and try and get some things done MONTHS ahead of time. What a concept. Oh, if you look at the picture you can see the back of a large-ish Santa. That’s actually a nutcracker Santa, one of my failed experiments. It doesn’t so much crack nuts as explode them into little pieces of shrapnel and mush. And his toes have a nasty tendency to break off. Oh well, I’ll fix it and finish it off, and it can be a shelf ornament for home.

Not seen here are the bags of sawdust and boxes of scraps. The scraps make GREAT fireplace fodder.

This year’s dated ornament. I tried to go for a layered look.

This intarsia piece was done for my wife. It’s about 11-inches wide, and 12-inches high. There are millions of pieces (well it SEEMED like that when I was doing it … I’m not sure but I’d guess at least 90), each of which was individually cut out, shaped, and painted. It’s difficult to see it from the picture, but the muzzle section is actually higher, and the interior of the mouth lower, to give a 3D-ish effect. The interior of the ear was dished with a carving chisel. I finished it Christmas Eve (not as bad as it sounds … all I had left to do was to make the backer section and glue it on).

This is a fretwork dragon with a small clock. He stands about 8-inches tall. This one is made from 1/2-inch oak, finished with a natural oil.

This piece is “segmented scrollsaw art”, called “First Kiss”. It stands about 11-inches high, and is made by cutting the individual pieces, shaping them, painting them, then gluing them together.

This lovely puzzle is one I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It stands about 18-inches tall, and is made of 3/4-inch basswood, painted with acrylic paints. I call it a puzzle because I shipped it to the recipient in pieces, forcing him to assemble it before he knew what it was.

This lovely pelican was made at the same time as the parrot … the pattern is from the same designer. It’s about 4-inches tall.

Yet another clock! This one is a pair of gryphons. It’s about 15-inches wide.

This fretwork dragon, and the back piece, are dyed using analine dyes. There are a few “floating” sections within it, making cutting it out something of a challange! The back is about 15-inches wide.

This sculpture-ish piece is about 18-inches by 11-inches by 2-1/2 inches. The face frame is cherry, the outer frame is maple, and the inner “mouth” is maple. It’s finished with tung oil. It’s hard to see from the picture, but the teeth are actually sitting freely between the mouth and the back. The teeth themselves are 1/2-inch plywood, painted white and glued onto spacers. With it’s plywood backer, it is a very hefty piece!

I bought my nephews an XBOX game, and decided they needed a place to store their collection of computer games. This design is a combination of two different book-holder designs, and features a sliding centre piece. It is actually suitable for quite a wide variety of things, from CD’s to DVD’s. Made from oak and maple, finished with tung oil.

This is my spin on a classic game,  (which shall remain un-named because I don’t want the recipients to simply look up the solution on the Web!). The rings are alternating oak and maple, ranging from 1-1/2-inch to 4-inches. The base is plywood … I ran out of time to make up one out of hardwood, alas. For those of you that haven’t seen it, the rules are simple. Move the rings from the left-hand post to the right-hand post. Every move must be from one post to another post. A larger ring must never be put on top of a smaller ring.

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