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Prints of “The Living Tree” Are Available for Sale

at the BaumWerk Etsy StoreDear friends,  I thank you for all of your kind words and interest regarding this new print of the Living Tree.  I am grateful that it seems to have struck a chord with many of you.  A number of you have made inquiries into when and if prints would be available to purchase.  As of Friday, a limited number (there will be more as I continue to print the edition) have been listed on my ETSY store.  I am selling these first fifteen for $125, after that the price will increase to $150.  Click here to go to the listing.   Please read more below for some details about the print, and thank you again for your support!

The image itself is 12″ wide and 22 1/2″ tall and is printed on French’s 100# Butcher Off White Dur-o-tone paper, which is 18″ wide and 25″ tall.  French’s paper is American made in Niles Michigan.The edition will be 1oo prints, which is the biggest edition I have ever made.  Every single print is hand made by me on my Wepplo etching press in my Rose Hill, Kansas workshop. The print is made using three linoleum blocks, as a composite image.  It took me over a year to design and carve the image into the blocks (although I was doing lots of other things during that year, besides carving linoleum).Many hours of painstaking carving went into creating all of the details in The Living Tree.The Tree and it’s roots are loaded with life, like this little owl. There are many spiritual and natural beliefs and dreams symbolically represented in this print.  There are many things which I see and believe about who my God is, and also things which I strive to cultivate in my life and stewardship on the land.  I don’t have many words as a companion for this image just yet, but perhaps in the future I may try to lay out those ideas for those who are interested.

As the Greening Begins

Walnut Timber Mantelpiece

The six and a half inch thick, 13 foot long walnut slab filled the shop as it came from the chainsaw mill.

Beam cutter on the old worm-drive

“rough-sawn” to the max

Using the “beam-cutter” to rip the slab into a six inch square timber

Pulling the saw at the end of the cut to save the last bit of slab for the corbels

Aluminum C-channel as a guide

start of the smoothing

a jack plane with a radius set to take heavy shavings

Now the joiner

pretty obvious

chopping out for a patch over a rotten knot

the same, fitted

filing the edges of a little copper butterfly template

bench-top with tools for making butterfly templates

variety of butterfly templates

Scribing the timber for butterflies to bind the main check

Routing out the waste

chopping the rest

right up to the knife line

ready for the joining

carving the corbels (my documentation fell off for most of this process)

mating the various natural edges of the corbels to the mantel

a little further back

fitting the opposite corbel

rough-cut cove on the left corbel

both corbels with coves-cut and awaiting final shaping

apply the final touches on the ends of the timber

“C” for the covenant

installed over the fire box, and the home-owner’s sandstone work.

I look forward to seeing it with the stone work done

Spoon of the Golden Ratio

golden-ratio-spoon11Carved from figured hard maple, the bowl was composed around two golden ratio (1.618) spirals.  golden-ratio-spoon07golden-ratio-spoon08golden-ratio-spoon12golden-ratio-spoon13golden-ratio-spoon09golden-ratio-spoon10golden-ratio-spoon15golden-ratio-spoon14golden-ratio-spoon17golden-ratio-spoon16golden-ratio-spoon03golden-ratio-spoon04golden-ratio-spoon05golden-ratio-spoon06golden-ratio-spoon02golden-ratio-spoon01

Echo Water

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Fumed White Oak

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The above are eight turned pieces from a single 24″ section of a 24″ diameter white oak from Boaz, Kansas. The tree fell over and across the Van Horn Branch Creek about 10 years ago- We finally pulled the log out 2 years ago, and it has laid in my log pile since then, although I did mill a portion of it. The heart wood is still green, so these bowls were turned green and allowed to warp as they dried. Ultimately all the pieces were exposed to ammonia vapors (fumed) which reacted to the tannins in the wood, darkening the surfaces.

The Champion Table Build, Part 5: Carving and Inlay

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sanding and refining the shape of the legs

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carving some details into the lower horizontal member of the leg assemblies

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“C” for Champion

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the lower leg joints, reinforced with screws, concealed by pegs

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cut flush and sanded

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the legs are finished, awaiting only final sanding immediately prior to finishing

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refining the shape of the arc, the brace between the leg assemblies

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one of many facet transitions and chamfers across the arc

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another of those transitions, in this case, the arcs contribution to the connecting joint

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adjusting the shoulder of the arc where it meets the walnut of the leg assembly

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a lot of enjoyment watching the play of light and shadow

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lets of test fitting of the base

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my son roughing out a billet of walnut for some stubby spindles. The spindles will connect the arc to the top-central horizontal rail connecting the leg assemblies, preventing any propensity to rack along the length of the table

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here are the spindles in place as well as a bit of carving on the side of the arc

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another view of the arc, upside down, an enjoyable shape- part moon, part smile, part rainbow, part horns, it is one of my favorite parts of this table

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beginning work on the table-top again- softening the edges with a block plane

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after making paper versions, laying out some walnut shapes that will be inlayed into the table-top

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re-sawing bits of highly figured walnut for all of the special details

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along with the decorative inlays, being positioned here are some butterfly-keys, which help to stabilize the splits and inclusions in the walnut making up the table-top

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after determining the composition and placement, all the parts get some double-sided carpet tape…

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…and are then stuck in place so that they don’t shift when their outlines are being scribed into the top with a knife

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after everything has been scribed, the majority of the cavity is established with a small spiral carbide bit in the electric router

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the rest of the inlay cavity is cut out with sharp chisels. The scribe-line is particularly nice at this stage, giving a positive registration for the tip of the chisel

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there was a place on one of the walnut planks that had a corner that couldn’t get reconciled in the flattening stages without making it too thin- the remedy was a patch of really pretty walnut

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clamps were used on the top, where they could reach whatever was being inlayed

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cleaning the floor and corners of one of the recesses for those butterfly keys

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glue and clamp…

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a little congregation of butterflies ready to be made flush with the top, the crack itself, will get filled with epoxy, after the bark has been removed

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cutting out some of the inlay cavities for the central design

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lots of chopping up to the line

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there are a lot of pictures of me hunched over the top of this table, because I was hunched over the top of this table a lot

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piece by piece, being tapped into place with my indispensable two-sided rubber mallet

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planing the first round of inlays fush to the surface

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glueing up some ebony for the next round of inlay work

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the elements of the central design positioned and ready

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a few more ebony details being cut out at the scroll saw

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the slow process of accurately scribing every edge with an “Exacto” knife

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clearing out as much as possible with the router, carefully to stay just shy of my lines

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my life for a good portion of October

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ofter hours of knife, chisel, and dental tool work, the inlay cavity for the crown of thorns is about ready for the ebony

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a modified dental tool in action clearing out the acute corners of the cavities, somewhat appropriate

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…still hunched over…

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some of the inlay uses molten sulphur… being melted here in a spoon

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molten sulphur is an eerie and beautiful thing, if not pungent to the point of being toxic

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poured into carved voids it marks a lovely luminous contrast to black walnut

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also very porous- not so good for a table top- an improved sulfur inlay was devised. First grinding some sulphur crystals with mortar and pestle…

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the sulphur pigment is then introduced to some two-part epoxy

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the resultant paste is pressed into the top layer of the earlier sulphur inlay, filling the pores and yielding a slightly tougher surface

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the inlay work done and all the other voids being filled with epoxy, final sanding has begun

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as the process goes, there are many flaws in my inlay work that need to be addressed. Out come the pigments and filler

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it is an enjoyable process that takes me into the realms of another of my lines of work

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then more sanding

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this marks the end of this second to last post in the building of the Champion Table, I won’t reveal the finished piece until it’s new owners have had a chance to see it in person. Thank you all for offering your support and comments, or just following along silently. I remain immensely grateful for the kind encouragement which each represents, and I look forward to sharing the finished piece with you all as well.