Archive for November, 2012

*Product Comment about Cool-Chem & Repairs to Carvings

I’ve used “Cool-Chem” in the past as an alternative to using epoxy or solder in the construction of feet for birds; i.e: song-birds. It’s been years ago and I don’t have a clear recollection of how it worked-out at that time.  I do recall that I discontinued it due to it’s expense.

I’ve order a small quantity this morning on-line for a specific project. I’ve previously mentioned that I’m currently re-pairing broken carvings for about four people. They found me, I agreed and now I’m endeavoring to get it all behind me and never agree to do it again. They had such high hopes and I weakened!

Case in hand is a lovely Bluejay which is an excellent carving by someone whose Carving Book I own. Weird, eh?  The beak was broken, a leg split (2-wires), looking like a “wish-bone”, and detached from the wire stem of the base. The foot (cast) was broken and 2 toes missing.  Metal leaves had been epoxied to wire stems, as well and are now 80%  needing to be re-attached.  Well, the stems are epoxied, as well, for texture, etc.

Solder is “out” due to the branch y configuration of the base and epoxy. I hope to be able to use the “Cool-Chem” to re-attach all of the above. I was first referred to this product by Bird-carver Walter Thompson. He said it had replaced solder as his medium of choice. So, here I go again.

I’m hoping to hear from one of you if you have some insight on this product or, on this project.  The beak, foot and leg are now repaired. A stem of leaves is reattached using ribbon-epoxy. I’m now waiting for the Cool-Chem to be delivered.  Watch for a critique in the future on the culmination of this and the other repairs.

This can’t be what I retired recently from teaching to do; can it?

Happy birding and carving,   Bill

Bald Eagle #3


*Post Turkey Day Wrap-up

November 23, 2012

Das Hamonhaus

Our big day (yesterday) lived-up to it’s rep! The Turkey wasn’t the only one stuffed in the room. Get well. Retirement is not for the week or the sick. I’m still in the midst of trying to get these “carving-repairs” behind me so I can get back to my own stuff.  No more repairs; please!
The comments I have made to several, was apparently my own mis-under-standing regarding about being requested to teach a work-shop at next year’s Middletown Show.  I won’t be teaching anywhere for the for-see-able future; nor, clubbing, demo’ing, or judging. Carving has only very recently become my priority and shall remain as such. I may have also mentioned at the show, a commission I’ve accepted (at the show) to carve a tropical bird (sz of a Bluejay). Another, first!
The “list” just doesn’t get shorter as I had hoped that it would. I’m also “itching” to do those long-awaited bases on my router, planner and lathe, cut-out some small critters (chipmonks, cray-fish, fish & bunnies) and finish the herons.
All of this before I can pick-up-to-work-on, the nearly finished Saw-whet Owls, Kestrel and Red-tailed Hawk. Oh, don’t forget my proposed Wood Duck Drake, Eagle Cane and Eagle Walking Staff (wood/blanks on hand). You can feel my frustration (and eagerness). I wouldn’t trade places with anyone.
Best wishes to all of our Carving Buddies for the rest of this Holiday Season. May all of you be equally challenged and re-gain your full measure of health and happiness.
Happy Carving, Bill & June

*Carve-In Schedule is Indefinitely Suspended

Hello Carving Buddys: 

Now that we’re no longer teaching, that’s my new status. It feels pretty good. It’s difficult after 25 years, to focus inwards instead of outwards. That’s actually what was behind my decision to not teach next year. My own wood-carving was suffering a-bit from my own negligence and busy schedule.

My short-term strategy was to continue the mid-week Carve-Ins whenever the weather permitted. That was short-sighted of me because no-one ever really knew where they stood or, if I would be carving any particular week. I tried putting that on an RSVP basis. That doesn’t work after-all because that keeps me on call, should any-one call-in their RSVP. Poor plan all-round. Carve-Ins are indefinitely suspended. If, they are resurrected, I will notify accordingly.

I felt that this much more explanation was needed. There; we’re done. Best wishes to all for a Happy Thanksgiving. Call on me if I can ever be of assistance; one “Carving Buddy” to another.

Happy birding and carving,   Bill

Bald Eagle #3

Bald Eagle #3




*An Open Letter to A Carving Buddy

Bill & June, Wildfowl Artists

Elaine, to answer your question, my intentions are to seldom have carve alone (on Wednesdays). Whilst June & I have definitely ceased our Group Class Teachings, “I” am going to continue the on-going-4-Season Carve-Ins on most Wednesdays between 2-5p.m.  (as before, except for the 4-season part). As for the four-seasons part, I do not ever again plan to shovel-snow! So, severe or icy weather is out of the question. I will try to be as faithful as ever in keeping my blog’s Calendar of Events current at all times. Please learn to consult it as a matter of routine when planning your trips here.

My cell phone remains a “happy place” whenever I hear from any of you; so, feel free as always. Immediately, upon deciding to cease our 25 year practice of classes, I could feel the feelings of responsibility slipping away from my shoulders. I do not need to abide by restraints to “stick-to-birds”, which I’ve always felt. Looks like I might do fish, furry critters of all kinds, amphibians, etc. I don’t expect to “teach” any of these carvings! All who decide from time to time to participate in our Carve-Ins are on equal footing; we’ll learn from each other, as we always have. Previously, I’ve touted, “No RSVPs Plez”! Now, I feel it’s the opposite; so, “RSVPs Plez”! OK? To Reiterate; these Carve-Ins are ONLY for Hamonhaus Carvers. If you receive this e-mail, you are one!

I’m interested in Bunnys and Chipmonks. I bought Roz Daisey’s Book on the subject. I also like many other things which I hope to pursue. As previously true as well, anyone can work on anything. When I’m in the room, I’m pleased to be as helpful as I can be. So, even if we’re all carving the same subject, they are separate projects. Each is responsible for acquiring their own wood, materials and expense. Whatever patterns are available in my files, you can use. I’m happy to help out with my band-saw. It is not a good idea (I’m advised) for anyone but me to use my band-saw due to possible liability issues.
So, to recap, you asked me what time it is and I answered by telling you how to build a watch. Some things will probably never change. Let’s carve!
Happy Carving,  Bill
Bald Eagle #3

Bald Eagle #3

*”Artistry in Wood”, Last Wood-Carving Show for 2012

2012 Middletown Show

This weekend we’ll be at Artistry in Wood, Vandalia, OH at the Dayton Int’l. Airport Exhibition Center. This is our last hoorah for 2012 and, we’re already penciling-in our traditional five shows for 2013. We’ve critiqued our selections (as we do from time to time) with an eye to cutting back a little more, all of the time. We can’t think of any we’d willingly give up at this time. This “cutting-back” has nothing to do with “diminished-capacity on our part (at least, not yet);  but, I feel that everything that we are curtailing, has previously diminished the level of my personal carvings. We also can not continue to offer the painting classes for such a low a flat-fee.  Some carvers took days to do their project’s painting.  Future painting-classes would be at an hourly-rate, should there be a need for them.  Distractions of all kinds are costly to the excellence of the carvings. See my point? It obviously remains to be seen if I am correct or not.

In the spirit of “cutting-back”, I don’t expect to judge or demo at any future shows, as we have over the past years.  We don’t expect to teach “group-classes” anymore, either. What we do expect to continue with-out much, if any, alteration, is our carving, painting, shows and weekly “Carve-Ins (in season).  I’m planning on taking my 2d work-shop with Bird-Carver Bob Guge, next October at the Sauder Village Woodcarving Show.

Church friend and neighbor, Tom S. “Gifted” me his “elderly” Rockwell table saw yesterday, which he has already replaced with a “still-in-the-box”, new one. I’ve wanted one forever and now, I have one. It’s primary use will be the same as my other “gifted” shop-tools; making bases for my bird-carvings. My friends have “gifted” so many vintage-shop-tools to me that I don’t know whether to set-up a “shop” or a “museum”! Just sayin’.

A last word about our Carve-Ins; These have always been available to only “Hamonhaus Carvers” and, they know who they are. They are anyone who ever paid class-fees to attend one of our regular woodcarving classes.  This keeps the sessions intimate and among old friends, not new ones. These Carve-Ins will dribble-down to nil eventually and become another foot-note to our Wildfowl Artist’s careers. How very appropriate.  Just like that old poem about the “10 little Indians”; “and then, there were none”.

We’ve surmised that we have processed hundreds of carvers thru “Das Hamonhaus” and, have carved several-hundreds of birds (they are all #’d, you know). We believe that there are many carver’s who will recall techniques from time-to-time, shared with them for the first time by the ol’ miesters of Das Hamonhaus.

Happy birding and carving,   Bill

Bald Eagle #3

Bald Eagle #3

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