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small detail/big impact

I made a set of three carriers around holidays as a gift to my wife.  Time got tight as it always does (I was making other shop-made gifts at the same time).  So I pushed back the hatching on the handle.  It’s a small detail that wasn’t present on the original Shaker wooden carrier (made: late 1800’s) that initially caught my attention.  I made a carrier this past fall and added the hatching.  I liked the hatching but didn’t view it an a necessity, thought of it as ornamentation that the carrier could do without.

To my surprise, I missed it.  The hatching makes all the difference.  The carrier felt incomplete without it.  Which led to a quick carving session over this past weekend.  Carving implies more skill than it takes.  It’s a simple layout: all lines are 1/4″ apart.  The layout is centered on the handle and the angles are either 90° or 45°.  Then it’s skimming a small v-tool (something similar to a 15/3)  across the handle’s surface to remove the pencil line.  It doesn’t take much muscle.  Just a controlled, gentle touch to cleanly remove the pencil line.

That’s it.  Laying out the pencil lines took just as long as the carving.  Afterwords, I added a little oil to the hatching to give it some color and I may put a little dirt/color onto the handle once the oil cures to add a little more definition to the lines.  It took about an hour to carve three handles.

I’m teaching a wooden carrier class this fall, October 23 and 24.  The hatching is optional, though I will strongly encourage it.  It’s a subtle detail that adds a big impression.

andy glenn