Monday, March 28, 2011

Decapitated Giraffes and other fun band saw games

My husband has had this giraffe in his nightstand drawer for a while.  It's not my taste necessarily but it was his from before we met so I dared not throw it out.  It was a gift from his mother and therefore special...or so I thought.  Turns out he bought it a few years ago from Waccamaw Pottery several years ago (on purpose!) and thusly had no particular attachment to it.  How lovely!  I had designs on this little wood giraffe and had just been given the go-ahead.

You know where I'm going with this, don't you?  Yes, that's right, to the garage!  If you're squeamish, avert your eyes.

My kids came out and asked what mommy was doing cutting the head off of their (suddenly) precious giraffe (that had been in daddy's nightstand drawer for 5 years, undisturbed).  They were a little upset until I made them a giraffe finger puppet, and then all was forgiven.

Voila!  Finger puppet!  I am no longer bad mom.

I cut into the body of the giraffe and could tell right away that the wood was going to be lovely.  It also smelled of cedar and black pepper.  It reminded me of meat on the grill in a way, which was not something I've encountered before.  Some woods smell sweet but this was the first peppery wood I've smelled.

I roughed out a piece and put a quick layer of tung oil on it just to see the grain.  Here you see it next to a finished piece of oak (oak is on the right).

It will need to be sanded several times then oiled, sanded, oiled, sanded, oiled, get the picture, before it becomes a pendant.  I have no idea what kind of wood it is so it will now be dubbed "giraffe wood".

Here's proof I'll never be hired to be a hand model but I'm still watching for a gig that calls for a mask-wearing middle aged woman to be covered in a fine layer of sawdust.  I can totally do that.

Photos of the completed pendants soon.  I'm excited to see how this wood turns out.

Have a great start to the week, everyone.


lynn bowes said...

Uh oh. I can see that no piece of wood, no matter what its current purpose is, will be safe from you. At least you redeemed yourself to the kidlets with a decapitated animal offering. And you are ever so lovely covered in sawdust but your end result is ever so wonderful :: xo

julochka said...

so much fun! tho' you are very brave to cut into the giraffe like that. i'm not sure i would dare, tho' your shots of the søjleboremaskine (don't know what they're called in english) do make me want to go out and use husband's - my sister and i bought it for him for his birthday 3 years ago and i've never tried it. why should husband get all of the big machinery fun?

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Lynn - I was going to lay the giraffe head on their pillow so they could wake up and see it but I was afraid they wouldn't get the Godfather reference and I would be bad mom again.

Julie - Definitely try out the machinery! It's good fun.

I should mention too, that I was certain this piece was solid wood before I cut it. You wouldn't want to cut into something that might have a metal support in it or something. My psa of the day.

RedTwigBrownTwig said...

Nice save with the finger puppet! :)

Wear Your Wild said...

LOL @ the Godfather reference! :)
Love the finger puppet idea too. Great way to use the rest of the body. Can't wait to see it.

Marilyn said...

Lisa...having lived in Kenya as a child...I bow my head at the demise of the giraffe...but I understand your need to create with what you have on hand... :)
one of the things I remember clearly, is the giraffes eating from trees that we called "giraffe trees" simply because they are very tall trees and only the giraffes can reach them...d'ya think the wood could be from that tree....? Just a thought...maybe a silly one, but hey, it's early Monday morning here!!!

Kathy said...

Lisa...looks like you have been hatching this decapitation plan to get at the wood. It is lovely and with a special fragrance!

When Garth brings me cut wood, compost or freshly turned soil the first thing I do is smell it.

Sonia / COZY MEMORIES said...

you rock the mask, woman !!!!
but ouch at your poor, hard working hands, ouch :(
I imagine their face when they saw the decapited giraffe, oh gosh LOL
You're my favorite wood working girl, did you know that ?!
oxoxo mwah

Anonymous said...

YOu gave me quite the chuckle here...giraffe wood is certainly pretty, isn't it. What's better than a finger puppet. Great post. xox corrine

Unknown said...

Hurray for Giraffe Wood! What have they named the puppet giraffe? Thanks for this bright start to my morning, Lisa. xxoo

Scrapiana said...

'Here's proof I'll never be hired to be a hand model but I'm still watching for a gig that calls for a mask-wearing middle aged woman to be covered in a fine layer of sawdust. I can totally do that.'

Love it! You're too funny. :)

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Thanks Shari! Sometimes you have to think on your feet, ya know?

kt - thanks!

Marilyn - giraffe tree it is!

Kathy - the smell of this wood was really strong. Surprisingly so.

Thanks Z!

Corrine - :)

Susan - are you ready for this? According to the 4yo, the giraffe's name is birdfeeder. bahaha!

Eirlys - if only I could supplement my income by being dusty. Dare to dream.

Unknown said...

very funny - it did make me laugh! I grew up in Africa and think it may be Acacia wood - the tree is commonly known as the Thorn tree as it has the most unbelievable thorns (longer than very long fingers!). It's a hardwood, is a staple on BBQ's & open fires as it makes great charcoal and its a favourite for giraffes as their tongues are immune to pain!
BTW - did you spot you're on Etsy front page today?

k said...

ha! poor decapitated giraffe. Lynn is right, no piece of wood is safe in your home, but it seems a great way to reuse out of use items.

Mousy Brown said...

I love to give things a second chance of life but it NEVER occurred to me to do it with wood - Oh the possibilities - second chances all eyes are open to so many new ideas + I Love the vessel and the puppet and the description and the dust! :D

Lisa-Marie said...

I can't wait to find out either, what utterly beautiful wood!

t does wool said...

you...clever,clever girl you..
I have missed feels good to be reading your words.

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Bonkers - I think you're right! It does look like acacia! Thanks so much for the tip.

k - just think of all the tchotckes out there, yet to be discovered... muahaha.

Mousy - I've cut up teak bowls too, found at the thrift. I keep my eyes out for fun wood animals too and let my kids paint them. Lots of fun stuff to be done with those otherwise ugly wood things.

Lisa Marie - ohhh it's beautiful! I finished sanding a piece tonight and it's like glass. Gorgeous.

T - it's so nice to see you! Missed you.

Karen Larko said...

Wonderful post! Love all the wood projects! Those wearable vases are amazing.

joanie said...

Looks like wonderful wood, definitely worth the decapitation, though my children would have objected too.
Wish I could smell it too. I'm wondering what pepper tree wood grain looks like. It probably is acacia but pepper trees also grow in drier climates - they're around my parent's home in California, they thrive there. The scent from pepper trees when the wind blows is very... peppery!
And I think you have to look for a new modeling category, you look way too young to be considered middle-aged!!! Jx

Nanou said...

This post brings me a giant smile :))) I love to see you with your mask and all this wood-dust !!!

I've stopped for many months using my dremel (too much dust in my home, too much noise for the family and I'm definitely not a "technological" girl, I prefer hand-tools), but when I used it, I wore protective glasses and a long blue paper dress given at the hospital when you have a surgery with the matching paper hat ! Can you picture me ? Even my wooden creatures on the operating table were laughing at me :D)))


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