… beauty, by Peter Paul Rubens
Jack has been having problems with swelling and pain in his left shoulder. It’s likely arthritic, and it would be good for him to start taking an anti-inflammatory drug called Meloxin. Our first lab Lucy had a lot of joint problems and she took Meloxin for years with good effect and I want Jack to have equal comfort in his senior years. Trouble is, that Jack takes a steroidal allergy tablet every day because he’s allergic to grass, and the two drugs are incompatible so he can’t start it until the grass is dead and he stops the steroids. We see the Vet on Monday to discuss other options, but for now, Jack is limited to one short walk a day. He isn’t very happy about this state of affairs, especially since getting in and out of the car is difficult, and we’ve been sticking close to home. I can’t believe I’m actually saying this out loud, but I hope it snows soon. Sorry folks, but it’s going to come eventually, and the sooner all this lush green October grass goes to bed for the winter, the sooner my Bubba can have some fun again.
The photos are from last week.
During my first experiments with resin stabilized wood, I had a lot of dark brown leftover resin at the end of it. So I have decided to do a little experiment.
I took some old black jeans, cut them into squares of approximately the sizee of a hand palm, soaked the pieces in the resin, stacked them in a receptacle and I poured all the remaining resin all over them. I have tried my best to chase and push manually all the bubles out and let it harden.
The resulting material has an official name – micarta – and the results look quite well, I think.
The pieces were not too big, but big enough for four small scales for two of the badger knives that I had in production, so I have used them straightaway. The material works well, it is sufficiently hard to take decent polish, but not so hard as to be difficult to work with. It does heat up a bit and clogs up sanding belts, but reducing the belt speed and using only fresh belts did away with that problem.
That the layers are not perfectly perpendicular and flat adds a bit more character to the material, which I like. I think it is a good way to use excess resin and these knives should now be extremely resistant to elements – the blades and fittings are all stainless steel, the handle scales are micarta and the sheaths are leather infused with beeswax. They would probably survive for a non-trivial duration in fog and rain outdoors. Not that I would do that to them.
I am also pleased that now that these knives are significantly less work than the bowie-type small hunting knivest that I was presenting previously. The goal is to have a mix of cheap(ish) and expensive items on offer in the future, I do not wish to only make luxury items that take weeks to months finish each, neither do I wish to destroy my enjoyment of the craft by bogging myself down in repetitive tasks o making the same thing over and over again.
Jack and I see lots of chipmunks on our walks, and I often try to take a photo, but they dart away too quickly and in unpredictable directions. Today, though, this little guy literally darted into the spot where I was aiming my camera, and then he stopped for a moment. It was just long enough for me to grab a few shots before he darted off again. Although this looks like a planned sort of chipmunk picture, I was actually trying to photograph the saddle of the log behind the chippie. In retrospect, that would have been boring, so thanks, little guy for the photobomb.
… sculpture, by Joe Fafard.
This installation of life-sized cattle is in the heart of Toronto’s financial district, and I have been lucky enough to have seen it several times. Like magic, it always slows me down and makes me forget that I’m in the middle of a big city full of bustle and noise.