Sunday, 10 January 2016

This is Why I Will Never Turn Pro

Okay, maybe not because of this box exactly, but it is one good example of why it would be a bad idea.

A lot of people dream about making a living their hobby.  Some, like my wife, actually give it a shot. Most do not.  Few really try, and few of those that do succeed.  I am not one of those.  Not that I have never thought about it.  There is a certain allure to the idea that I could make money doing what I love.  It would also be untrue to say that I have never sold any of my work.  So why am I so sure I will never make the leap?

Part of it is knowing my own limitations.  I do not work quickly.  That box above, along with a pen & pencil set I turned, was a thank you gift for a friend who did me a very generous favor.  It took me almost 2 years to get it done.  Paying customers would never be so patient.

Another reason is that I believe that working for yourself is really just an illusion.  If you want to make money you have to make what people will buy.  This means that you are making what they want, not necessarily what you want.  Right now I have made 3 of these pen boxes, although none of them are exactly the same.  If I had to make 10 the same it would become work.  If I had to make 50 the same it would be drudgery.

Freedom, to me, means being able to do what you want when you want.  Right now I don't have total control over the when, but I do control the what.  I am free to follow wherever my curiosity leads me and test my skills in whatever way I see fit.  If the price of that is that I don't get to spend all day every day in the shop, it is balanced by being able to enjoy the time that I do spend there.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Down the Rabbit Hole

So on my last post I airbrushed that vase and I kind of got caught up in the whole airbrushing thing for a while.  Although it has nothing to do with woodworking, I'm going to show you what I was up to for the summer.  Some of it anyway.  Just the stuff that sort of looks like it was supposed to.

A couple of bags that I did for my wife.

The background was done by spraying onto a scrunched up plastic grocery bag and dabbing it onto the cloth.

Okay, so I do a lot of flowers.  I can because I'm secure in my masculinity.

These next two were copied from this video from YouTube.  The top one was first, the bottom one second.

I leave it up to you to decide which one was better or more accurate.

The fish scale effect was achieved by putting on an orange base coat and then airbrushing yellow through one of those mesh bags that onions come in.

Experimenting with neon effects.

This is kind of my grand opus.  There are still a lot of mistakes, large and small, but overall it came out pretty good for my skill level.

Airbrushing can be a lot of fun.  It also makes you look at things a little differently.  I find I pay more attention to the way light hits things now. The other day, for example, I was cleaning the bathroom and it took a lot longer than usual because I was spending a lot of time staring at the toilet.  It's all white, all the same colour, but the way light hits each surface allows the eye to tell them apart.  It's just not something I had ever noticed before.

I will be doing more airbrushing.  I'm definitely not done with it.  I'm going to keep experimenting and more of it will turn up on future pieces.