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Friday, January 21, 2011

OLLI Classes have resumed

OLLI Classes have resumed, so on Wednesday and Thursday mornings, the studio is full of people excited to be playing with glass.  I enjoy meeting new people, and welcoming back those who have played before.  FirstClass_web.jpgI've included a sample of the pre-fired work...great stuff, especially for the first week!!!  Bryant Holsenbeck's Bunnye is keeping guard until I can get everything in the kiln.

This week also marked the end of a project long in the making.  Last July, I picked up a sign from the US Forest Service that needed to be redone because a logo had changed.  With the aid of Wayne from the HardWood Store in Gibsonville, NC, I was able to try out many types of wood and different toolpathing options. TestingWoods_web.jpgSome, like Bass Wood,  were clearly not right for the project. Note the tear out around the letters.

The HardWood Store glued up a blank of Ash, which I painted black before carving.  The old sign, and the beautiful black blank took up space in the studio until I could start carving. oldsign_blank_web.jpg carving_sign_web.jpg 

The ShopBot carved away the black, revealing the wood grain underneath. Mitch Fisher of Fisher Signs in Durham sprayed 3 coats of polyurethane on the sign to seal the wood.  Steve of the Forest Service picked up the finished sign on Thursday.  Whew!Final_Sign_1_web.jpg

7:45 pm est 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Rocking Horse

Today was to be the start of the new OLLI session, but the snow and ice on the roads made it too dangerous for everyone to make their way out to the studio.  So, instead of glass, here's a picture of the Rocking Horse that I finally finished over the holidays and sent off to my grand-niece, Fiona, in Connecticut. 
rocking_horse_web.jpgThe original plans came out of Wood Magazine in 2009.  Using the CAD/CAM program that comes wit the ShopBot (PartWorks), I imported/drew the plans on the CAD (Computer-Aided Design) side and used the CAM (Computer-Aided Machining or Milling) side to tell the ShopBot how to cut out the pieces.  That was easy. Even painting and sealing the parts with non-toxic materials was easy.  Taking the time to actually glue and screw the parts together, now that took almost a year. Rumor has it that her parents really like it, but that she is still a little afraid of it.  But then, she is only 16 months old, so she has time to grow into it. 

1:59 pm est 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Back to Work
Hard to believe that a month has gone by and I haven't posted anything on the blog. Blame it on lots of people in the studio, our son coming home from Denmark after a semester abroad, Christmas and New Year's, snow, snow and more snow.  I believe that I will start using the expression "Climate Change" instead of "Global Warming".

The ShopBot has been churning out contract work.  Imagine working in an un-heated barn, watching the CNC machine cutting out 351 holes in each panel of plywood for a display at Raleigh's First Night on New Year's Eve.  So much faster and cleaner for me to design the pattern of holes on the computer screen, then have the computer control the router to cut out the holes,  than for a person with a hole-cutting bit try to do it by hand.  sheet_of_circles_web.jpgI was glad to have made the decision to stay in the barn and supervise the machine, since one of the waste circles cut out of the board got caught by the router bit and spun on top of the board at 12000 rpms.  One really can start a fire by rubbing two pieces of wood together at high speed.  burn_web.jpg

At Raleigh First night, participants inserted recycled water bottles filled with colored water into the display to create light patterns.LiteBright2.jpg Not quite glass, but still working with color and light.  Photos courtesy of the News and Observer.  

8:16 pm est 

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