Look, it’s done!

How to work the toggle clasp, originally uploaded by kaitschott.


done carving, ready to paint

done carving, ready to paint, originally uploaded by kaitschott.

That faint music in the background?
Unintentional, but I think we were listening
to this or this.

working on the cowlick

working on the cowlick, originally uploaded by kaitschott.

One of the things that I didn’t anticipate
before working with wood for the first time
is how crucial the direction of the wood grain
is to the form that one is trying to carve out.

It is not that the direction of grain
makes certain things impossible,
only sometimes difficult or awkward.

The closest analogy I can think of is
when someone has a cowlick in their hair.
You can try to cut it or comb it any way you please,
but it has a stubborn nature,
and things work out much better
if you try to work with it rather than against it.

Wood grain is like that.
With such a complex form,
I knew that every part could not run
nicely ‘with the grain.’
Some parts would not be well-oriented
and would therefore be more un-cooperative and tricky.

That bit, the concave surface leading into the tail?
That’s the cowlick of this piece.

project outline here
full photo set here

Playing catch up

So the piece for Replanting the Garden is done!  Carved, painted, packed, and shipped to the gallery.  The last month was very much a case of don’t-have-time-to-post-must-carve-every-free-minute-with-only-the-briefest-pause-to-take-some-photos-along-the-way. Whew!  But I did take photos along the way, so it is just a matter of getting them sorted and posted.  I’ve begun to get them all up on Flickr, starting from where we left off here.  I’ll keep posting them there, along with a few casual notes, and then try to do something of a summary back here.  It’s been quite an undertaking, but it was very satisfying, much was learned along the way.

For those who like to have the end in sight, here’s a little sneak peek at the finished piece:

If you prefer the quick, no text version of the story, you can watch a slideshow here.

project outline here.


refining a leaf/petal, originally uploaded by kaitschott.

I have been documenting the piece
at various stages of progress.
However, I have been too busy to post them,
as I have been spending almost every free moment
doing this.

I will post the step-by-steps
and some thoughts on things I’ve learned
as soon as I have the chance.

Stay tuned…

starting up

More at Flickr.

Proof of Concept

It’s crunch time…can I do this?

Here’s the roughed out shape again….

sketching in petal/leaves and beginning to cut in….

Starting in on the second row….

All the petal shapes rough cut….

Adding some contours….

So, after a week’s work on this strategy, I’m confident I can create the effect that I want well enough.

Next Step: Rough out the final main pendant shape.
Stay tuned….

design sketch

This is what I’m hoping for.  We shall see how feasible it is.  Stay tuned….

giving the credit card a workout

Supporting the arts with plastic….

click through to Flickr for details.


I’d meant to write more earlier about my thinking going into this project, but a) that seemed boring without any pictures, and b) time is passing rather quickly, deadline-wise.  So I’ll have to just plunge ahead and try to interject a little ‘why’ and ‘how’ as I go along.  Unfortunately, the deadline is five weeks away, so play-by-play detailed documentation may lose out in the mad dash.  I’ll do my best.


  • As the Bosch piece is a triptych, I’d originally mulled over the idea of three pieces, perhaps in some sort of display case.  But, having decided to use wood, a new-to-me medium, I realized that I had to be realistic about my learning curve.  So, now I’m hoping for one piece, a necklace, composed of three parts.
  • Having first played around with some simple shapes, I wanted to figure out if I could execute the most complex form in the piece first.  Because if I can’t, I’d better get another idea, fast.  (This would definitely fall under the heading of “things I’ve learned from watching Project Runway.”)  It’s o.k. to take big leaps and mess around and make mistakes, but you’d better do it early.  You’ve got to know when to move on to something more attainable so that you have something solid when you get to the “make it work” point.
  • I think the most difficult part will be something evoking the sprouting plant/flame form in this detail here. There are similar forms sprouting from the fountain in the left hand section of the triptych, and as part of the monument/shelters at the top of the middle section.  (full triptych here)  I like it’s wild, vegetal shape, it reminds me of a favorite Goethe essay, and think it would make a great pendant.

So the question is:  Can I recreate or suggest that form effectively by carving wood?

a beginning

higher relief

the beginnings of another attempt

(I want to get more outward curve on the leaves/petals)

another test element, thinking about hooks and eyes

More soon….