The Pull-Toy Series No. 11 – The Begging Dachshund
White Pine, Found Wood, Steel, Pewter, Glass, Leather and Copper
13″l x 17″t x6″w
Automated pull toy – dog waves its paws when pulled.
I’m spending the day at a hospital waiting room. My wife is undergoing a series of surgeries to restore sight to her left eye. Today’s round should be the last. When we began this, in November, she had no sight in that eye and the doctor offered no prognosis. We are now optimistic that full vision will be restored.
I expected to pass the time updating this blog, but I cannot seem to log onto the hospital wifi with the laptop. I’ve no problem with the phone linking up to wifi. (Though the phone signal is blocked.)
So here’s a quick update from my phone.
•. Welcome to all of the folks that have discovered 50 Little Birds via the March issue of Country Living. I’ve had a lot of emails and blog hits from these folks and have enjoyed the new interest. Yesterday was this blocks second busiest day with over 200 hits!
•. I just found out that my new skin-on-frame cardinal, “Cardinals are Big in Indiana” will hang at “Stick a Bird on It”, a show opening at Indianapolis’ Harrison Center for the Arts beginning March 2. Two other pieces, a murder of crowd and a box if chickens, will also be displayed through the end March.
•. I will be hanging, the “Bird Show” with Bruce Neckar at Bear’s Mill in Greenville, OH opening on May 25. The popular show was at Indianapolis’ Big Hat Books last spring.
•. Taking a cue from the metal wings on my skin-on-frame cardinal I’m experimenting with carved birds in flight with metal wings and tail. The prototype, a red-winged blackbird is pictured here.
Indiana Artisan and
|DECEMBER FIRST FRIDAY|
|Indiana Landmarks Center
1201 N. Central Avenue
|Friday, December 2, 2011
6 to 9 pm EST
Join Indiana Artisan at Indiana Landmarks as they partner for First Friday.
This holiday event will feature the foods and art of 26 Indiana Artisans in the gallery of the beautifully restored Indiana Landmarks Center in Indianapolis’ Old Northside neighborhood. Indiana Artisan participants will be selling their work, which make great gifts. See what the Hoosier state’s highest-quality Artisans have to offer. Admission, of course, is FREE. A list of the 26 participating Artisans, coming from 15 Indiana counties, is at www.IndianaArtisan.org
Last weekend I stumbled across a diagram and instructions to make a automated alligator pull toy. It was reprinted from a c. 1920s how-to book for boys. (This is my favorite book genre. I’ve got a dozen, or so, ranging from the 1900s to the 1960s. I’m not sure why it made an impression on me.
Over the next few days my notebooks and journals were filled with alligator drawings. Early last week I sat at my bench and carved an alligator. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it . I put it aside and had no plans to revisit the project anytime soon.
I was home, sick, on Friday and alligator thoughts began creeping into my head again. Saturday morning I was back at my bench and moving forward. The result are pictured here.
All of my work is inspired by a personal experience. I was well into carving. In fact I was setting the eyes when I remembered a youthful fascination with an particular alligator. Boyhood chum, Charlie Ormiston, has a real stuffed baby alligator on his bedroom dresser. I seem to remember that kids regularly brought these back from Florida. It had black glass eyes and a wire running through its tail. It was stitched from chin to tail with big brown stitches. I could see Charlie’s stuffed ‘gator, clear as a bell, as worked on this guy.
Click images to learn more.
Recently a gentleman began to show some real interest in my flattie ornements. After a couple of exchanges he ordered two. I was surprised to find that his address was in the Manahattan offices of a major designer clothing line. It was a treat to ship them to a well known and trendy Madison Avenue adress.
He really appreciated the work that I sent and shared positive and supportive feedback and comments
Last week he purchased one of my favorite pieces, Two Wrens under Glass. In this piece two wrens are mounted in a small branch with a variety of natural objects — acorns, moss, etc. — and covered with a glass dome. These pieces stand atop a small boxed drawer on small apron feet.
The piece is difficult to take to shows and I knew shipping would be a problem so I immediately built a crate to secure the piece in transit.
I carefull packed the piece with bubble wrap and packing peanuts. I re-built a box to fit it perfectly and sent it to his home in New Jersey.
It arrived in pieces!
The solution, thankfully, was simple. I asked the customer to make a few measurements and I had another dome crop shipped from a supplier. It turned out to be relatively inexpensive to do this and it left the customer feeling great about our relationship.
Hopefully, I’ll hear in a few days that he opened a box and plced the new dome in place.
1) Insure fragile parts. My birds aren’t that fragile and I don’t usually insure them. I can fix most problems quickly and inexpensively. I don’t make domes (yet!) and should have insured the package for the cost of a dome.
2) Measure fragile parts. This dome was a found object that I picked up at a local antique mall. I had no idea what its dimensions were. If I had them handy it would have been a simple taks to ship a new one. (There is some question about how the customer measured and I had to make a best guess about the size of the replacement dome. we may not have everything worked out, yet.
3) If I have to ever ship a dome again I won’t. I will measure the dome and ship an identical new one direct from a supplier.