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A New Buzz in Port Townsend

June 6, 2015


After working really hard to get all partial projects finished, I have enjoyed starting something totally different from any other wheel I’ve done.  This wheel is for a beekeeper, so I made one very large bee against a part of a honeycomb.  What is so different is that most of the 14″ wheels I’ve made have been fabricated from three or four pieces of wood glued up into a large slab.  Each of these wheels is made from twenty eight pieces of wood, and that’s not counting the bees!  Lots of gluing and waiting but it’s coming together.  There will be some other art touches to help carry the theme.  I learned what a skep is and will use this image in several places on the wheel. By the way, the main wheel is crafted from cherry, walnut, and yellow cedar.  I learned the hard way that yellow cedar is not fond of polyurethane, so this part of the wheel is finished with shellac.  I used ebony for the eyes of the bee but did not have enough for the legs.  I went to Edensaw and found some African blackwood, which is very similar to ebony.  Since this is pretty exotic the pieces I was looking at were sold by the pound rather than the usual board foot.  When I took it to the counter to have it weighed, a lady was standing there waiting to buy her own wood.  She looked at my little piece and asked what I was planning to make.  I told her bee legs.  I think she probably thought I was crazy (and she isn’t far off!) but boy, I was hoping she would ask!  I guess now my bees have been Africanized!






From → Gary's Thoughts

  1. That is just stunning, maybe my favorite of all your wheels I’ve seen – and I’m not even a beekeeper!

    • My best work seems to get squeezed out of me when I find myself in over my head. With something like this, it would be pointless to spend hours planning it out. I just have to get started and let the wood talk to me. Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. Beautiful!!!! I love bees but I want one of your PNW design Raven wheels…. Someday. Your work is amazing!

  3. Sally boussios permalink

    How clever! Love the bee!

  4. Jan permalink

    that’s about the cutest bee wheel I’ve ever seen! (and the only bee wheel I’ve seen, :) ). I’ll be curious to see how you will fit
    the footmen over that bee.

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