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In the Kitchen

Are you looking for gifts for one of the cooks in your life? I have a number of spurtles. A spurtle was originally a stir stick for porridge. It's good for stirring sauces, tossing veggies while  a stir-frying or placing over top of a pot of pasta to prevent it from boiling over. Because spurtles are designed to scrape the sides of a pot I make them in right and left handed versions. Spurtles are available in Manitoba maple and walnut.


Business card stands

One of the goals for this season's Christmas gifts was to use up some of the scrap wood I have been accumulating. These business card stands allowed me to put a small dent in my scrap pile while experimenting with different combinations of wood. The L-shaped teak edges on some of the stands came from failed picture frames for some of last year's gifts. Before that they were part of a large teak sign that Craig Ainsworth inherited from his uncle. I was delighted by Craig's generous gift of such a large piece of teak.

Maple Box

Although the body and the lid of this box are both hard maple, the figure and colour is quite different.  I have been looking at the piece that became the lid for quite some time, waiting for a project to properly show it off. The splines are walnut for contrast. Price $40.00

Jatoba and Maple Box

A friend was lucky enough to obtain some jatoba, also called Brazilian Cherry.  He offered me one of the boards and this is the first box I have made from it.  There will be at least one more. it is a gorgeous wood to work with a deep rich colour and for contrast I was able to find a piece of curly maple to use for the bottom. Price $60.00

Three Grains Business Card Holder

The shapes on the front of this reminded me of grains of rice, or wheat. The top and bottom are maple and the sides are mahogany. Price $20.00

Bean String Business Card Holder

I was playing with shapes on the front of this piece and when I was finished it reminded me of a string of beans.  The front and back are maple and the sides are walnut. Price $20.00

Tree Business Card Holder

This design gave me a chance to try out some very fine lines with the scroll saw. The box is made from maple and mahogany. These card holders take about 5 business cards depending on the weight of the stock used in the cards. Price $20.00 

Duck Business Card Holder

Two other students and I are in a class making maple workbenches.  One night I was offered 20 offcuts all 1/8 of an inch thick.  I didn't know what I was going to use them for but knew they were worth saving from the burn bin.  My first thought was box bottoms but when I discovered the business card boxes I knew exactly how to use the maple. I searched around for small patterns to put on the front. A duck is probably a bit weird but it might appeal to someone. The sides of this holder are purpleheart. Price $20.00

Pencil Boxes

Heart and initials

These boxes are made of a variety of woods, roasted maple, fir and poplar to name a few.  The boxes were made as parting gifts for my colleagues in the English department when I retired. Teachers can always use pencil holders.

Three-leaf business card holder

Business card holder with three leaves scroll-sawn into the top.

One of my new offerings for the Calgary Retired Teachers Art Show in 2013 is a series of wooden holders for business cards.  The idea came from Charles Mac in an article in Canadian Woodworking and Home Improvement.  I was delighted with the idea because it permits me to use up many small pieces of scrap. The three-leaf card holder gave me a chance to practice my scroll-sawing skills and it seems to be one of the more popular designs.  These card holders sell for $20.00.




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