Thursday, August 20, 2015

Buttons for a Grand Daughter

 Three weeks ago another wonderful, healthy and happy wee grand daughter arrived. As I type this Oma is visiting with Baby Rowan and family.  The photo is of a sweater that Oma knit for Rowan and the buttons are from my work shop.  I made the buttons from elm, it is stringy, strong and has a good natural colour.  I finished the buttons with clear shellac and polished them with some bee's wax.

  Something as small as a button is not a total throw away project. I used a small fine toothed saw to cut the blanks out, after ripping a 1/4 piece of wood off of a larger board. Once the blanks were cut out I shaped them with knives and rasps and sanded them smooth with needle files. When I made the buttons I decided that I wanted them to look rustic and hand made so I did not just cut slices off a piece of dowel, which would have been fast and easy.  I wanted the buttons to be similar but not the same, machines make things that are all the same, Opas make things that are similar to one another. 

  If you live in an apartment or a condo and you either don't have a shop yet, or have chosen to give up your shop and down size, you do not have to leave wood working behind.  There are many small projects that allow you to express feelings and keep making things you love.  These buttons are a small project that needs very, very few tools. There are small carvings, bird houses, Ipod stands and desk sets to name just a few things like buttons that will keep you going.  All you need is desire.

  If you have access to a shop in a community or senior's centre you can do the big work on a wooden spoon like Jimmy DiResta does in his video, and then do the final work on your balcony.

make a wooden spoon

  Sometimes sore hands, knees and back make me want to watch videos and not work in my shop or do anything.  Luckily for me my wife keeps encouraging me to keep plugging along. Now I'm encouraging you to keep making saw dust too.

cheers, ianw

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