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Bits and Pieces Come Together

March 25, 2013

I’ve learned a few lessons over the years as an artist and woodworker.  One is to think long and hard before you burn scraps of wood.  You never know when they might come in handy.  Consequently, my shop is brimming with buckets and boxes of wood scraps just waiting for their day.  Another lesson is to always listen to the little suggestions that pop up out of the blue.  Putting both these lessons to use is what this story is about.

Since the chicken wheel is for Rebekah, I feel I have a little more room to play and goof around than I would for a regular customer.  I know my daughter and I know that she is a flexible and fun person who will not shrink from a crazy idea.  So, I had these two small canary wood wheels – only 12″ in diameter.  I love the color of the wood and it goes very well with the chicken figurehead.  But how could I expand 12 inch wheels to get the 14 inches I need?  I went out to the shop and cut the padouk hubs for whenever the wheels were ready.  I love the crazy red color of this wood.  When finished, I had eight little corner pieces left over.  I almost tossed them into the burn pile, when a little voice said to me – “Wait!  You can use those around the canary wheels.”  I laid them out to consider.  I called my trusty partner and voice of reason, Amy, for her thoughts.  Then I showed Maxine, my strongest voice of reason (I say with great respect), and from both of them I got a go ahead.

canary wheel 1

This photo shows the scraps of padouk surrounding the canary wheel.  I cut them to exact shape and epoxied them into place.  While that was curing, I thought about what wood to put in between the padouk shapes.  Two choices seemed interesting.  One would have been a very dark wood, but upon searching through all of my little scraps, I found I couldn’t go this route.  The other option was to go light, and I remembered a stick of birdseye maple left over from another wheel.  Just the ticketSo now we have the wheels figured out, and in some strange way following the bird theme – canary wood and birdseye maple!  The photo below shows how one of the wheels look when close to finished.

canary wheel 2

  1. Barbara Stender permalink

    The wheel is truly beautiful. Is it more than ornamental? If so, what’s it do? Will it be a surprise for Rebecca?
    Rebecca is one of my favorite quality people!

    • Hi Barbara,
      Thanks for your nice comments!The fun of building these wheels comes from making something beautiful and yet fully functional. We have spent countless hours on the mechanics of these wheels with the goal of making them a pleasure to use for all spinners – beginners as well as advanced. We know that people become pretty attached to their wheels and often name them. So, we are pleased to work with spinners who want something very special to them. Rebekah, also known as “the chicken lady” by the kids of the neighborhood, wanted a chicken theme wheel and gave me virtually free reign on choices. I’m trying to make something she will treasure. If you become interested in spinning, either Rebekah or Amy would be happy to show you the basics. Who knows, classes may be in the works down the road! Gary

      • Barbara Stender permalink

        Thanks, Gary. Of course – it really is a spinning wheel. I was thinking along the lines of something for her chickens to interact with. They are pretty smart birds after all. However they are not much on property maintenance and this wheel is a lovely work of art. If a class in spinning pops up, I would surely be interested. Barbara

  2. Rebekah permalink

    I love it! Don’t work too hard, Pop :)

  3. You are amazing what ideas and concepts you put together in wood form! I love the idea of the trangles set into the additional circular frame. Very pretty indeed! =)


    • Thanks, Annie! The wheel is almost finished and we’ll post photos of the final result soon. Haven’t heard much from you lately. hopefully you made it home and have your dragon wheel. Gary

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