Sitting bear

Does this bear look like he’s dreaming, or is it just me? It’s not easy to work with something so small, but I enjoy the challenge of fitting a shape I have in mind into the nature’s given confines.

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Bear with a basket, part 1

It is a pleasure to carve madrone wood (AKA strawberry tree) because it is dense and tight-grained and so able to hold smaller details than, say, pine, but it is prone to warping and cracking. Some say this only adds character and charm.

This bear’s posture was dictated by the piece of wood I had. The basket was an afterthought when I realized that one arm would turn out way too long.

Toolbox

It’s a never-ending quest to keep a few favorite carving tools handy and safely organized. I have set the following criteria in my search for the container, in no particular order:

  • economical
  • space-saving
  • modular
  • modifiable
  • portable, invertable upside-down
  • safe for blades & hands
  • allowing visibility & easy access to every tool

A traditional solution is a tool roll, but that is not ideal because you’re met with а stockade of razor-sharp blades, and after a couple of silly cuts I was ready for something safer. An option I really liked was a covered tool stand by Joe Dillett, but that works well only if your tools are of the similar size. Jeremy Broun’s JKB design seemed attractive, but perhaps for a bigger toolbox. Allen Goodman’s scenic chest looked great, but is not portable.

Finally (finally?), Phil Billy gave me an idea to use the Artist’s supply box from HobbyLobby (their coupon made it more palatable for me).

It’s high quality and sturdy, made of solid maple. I’ve complemented mine with a few parts made from pallet wood, a tool roll for knives & smaller tools, and a leather strop. The long blades are safe in the tiltable shelf behind a piece of clear plastic. Plus a safety reminder to myself and the first aid kit. There is still a full size tray waiting for further tweaking.

Update: the palm tool stand module is made from interchangeable parts. Maybe I’ll decide to make a “cloche” for it yet.

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