Blog Archive

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Photos from a January trip to the Cleveland Museum of Art are now up on Flickr.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Present

Even though the old man has been working with computers since 1970 (or perhaps because), he assiduously avoids spending time on the Internet in his retirement.  Thus, I can post about his Christmas present without worrying about ruining the surprise.

This summer, I found a double bit axe head ground into the gravel of one his pole barns.  I’d like to think that this was something he cadged from the family farm before it was sold, but mostly likely, he picked it up at a yard sale.

Regardless, he has reached the stage in his life where he complains about having too much stuff.  Which makes present giving difficult.  So, I secreted the axe head away with plans to give it back to him at Christmas.  It had seen better days:


I took after it with the grinder, wire brushes, sandpaper and polishing compound.  About halfway through one side:


One side done:


Meanwhile, I had purchased a replacement handle (which was strangely difficult in Western Pennsylvania).  It had been sealed, so I had to sand off the finishes (and the warnings).  Some paint was in order:



Then, the old man’s initial pyrographed into the handle:IMG_20141218_095506709

Finally, everything assembled:



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

This summer, my wife bought me some lovely wooden bowls at a yard sale.  I was looking for a place to park some basil seedlings at the same time and so they became (with some drilled drainage holes) planters.

But, after at the end of summer, I noticed a crack in one.  And, being obsessed with kintsugi, I decided to take a crack at a version involving epoxy and glow in the dark powder (up to this point, I hadn’t even realized that glow in the dark powder was a thing, let alone a cheap thing, and now I keep seeing uses for it everywhere).

Allow me to point out that I know next to nothing about kintsugi or the cultural underpinnings.  I do, however, think it looks awesome.  The same with wabi-sabi.  I can tell you what an American definition might be, but as far as understanding the relevance to the Japanese culture, not so much.

But I do like the patina of age and wear, and use and brokenness that the things that I own tend to have.  I like how it speaks to the impermanence and imperfection of the world ad, to a greater extent, me and my physical form.  And I like things that glow in the dark.  A lot.

This the vessel as it stood, cracked after a summer of use:IMG_20141124_131803573_1

I cleaned out the joint with a dremel and then mixed some epoxy with the glow in the dark powder.  I have no idea what ratio I used.  I dumped it until it looked good.  I’d measure it next time.  I let it cure overnight, cleaned it with some oil soap and brought it inside:


And here – a long exposure in a dark room to show off the lovely blue glow that it has at night.