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Happy Scrolling!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Scrolling Games

My other hobby is playing board games. I love 'em! I have about 150 board games in my collection and its constantly growing. So I don't have to tell you how excited I was to hear the latest issue of SSW&C has plans for a compound cut checker board set designed by Sue Mey. I'm anxiously awaiting my issue to show up. The pictures look stunning and I can't wait to read more about it.

Interesting enough, there has been a few threads on SSW&C forums about compound cut chess pieces. Barefoot1 (Thomas) has created a thread in the Works In Progress section to log his progress as he constructs a Notre Dame chess set for his son. Each piece is compound cut with the scroll saw and beautifully detailed. He also goes into construction of the board/case that will certainly match the beauty of his chess pieces. His work is remarkable. I can't wait to see the finished product.

The Notre Dame Chess Set was designed by Azbison (Jim Kape). He's been busy making a lot of prototype chess pieces and posting the results in the forums. You can check out some of his prototypes (thread 1, thread 2). He also has a beautiful chess set he constructed. Take a look.

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the Notre Dame Chess Set, Jim is making the pattern available for $10. He also has other patterns he's been working on, so you might see what else he has to offer. You can email Jim at azbison[at], to find out more information.

You also might want to check out Diana Thompson's, Wooden Chess Sets You Can Make: 9 Complete Designs for the Scroll Saw. I haven't read the book, yet. But the designs look very nice and might be a good option for those who are new to compound cutting.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Lath Art Kits and Patterns

If you have read through the blog entries on the sites I recommended over the last few days, you'll often hear mention of lath art kits.

I was able to find 3 vendors of lath art kits. Each site seems to carry the same patterns, however their prices differ slightly. I'm not sure if all 3 websites are owned by the same company, or if they are merely resellers. Either way, they have quiet a few kits to choose from. The kits include precut lath sheets, paints, a paint brush, and detailed instructions. This approach reminds me of those paint-by-numbers kits. Which isn't bad if you're in a hurry or need an introduction to lath art. Looking at the galleries on the website, it looks like the finished products are stunning. Each kit usually run between $50-100.

If buying a kit isn't your thing, and you don't want to design your own, take a look at intarsia or stained glass patterns. You'll probably have to simplify the pattern a bit to make it work for lath art, but that shouldn't pose too much of a problem. Paned Expressions Studios has several free stained glass patterns that would work well for lath art. I especially like Summer Solstice, Covered Bridge, and Lighthouse.

Lath Art Kit Vendors:

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Lath Art Progression Pictures

I learn best by example and demonstration. That's why I love progression pictures and tutorials so much. So I was pretty excited when I saw Christopher Hildebrand's set of progression pictures as he puts together a lath art painting of a horse grazing. He makes a few comments about each photo. The photos are high resolution, which makes it easy to see the details and is really quiet helpful in understanding how a lath art painting is put together.

Chris also has another set of progression pictures in his personal gallery as he puts together a golf course scene. Many of these pictures also have comments This 9 picture set breaks down each step a little bit more, which I find especially helpful.

So if lath art painting is in your future, be sure to check out Chris' two sets of progression pictures (set 1, set 2). I bet you'll learn a lot just by watching him work!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

How To Make A Lath Art Painting

Last post, I talked about lath art. Now that your curiosity is piqued, you wanna give lath art a try? Tom and Esther from LathArt How to and Patterns has a nice tutorial to get you started. The tutorial is nicely illustrated and takes you step by step through the process. They even provide a free pattern for your first project! While you are there, check out the rest of their posts. They give tips on finding suitable material, painting techniques, and design tips. Very cool.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Lath Art

One thing that amazes me most about scrolling, is the number of art forms that develop because of this simple tool. I came across Lath Art a while back and found it very interesting. Lath Art is a folk art that uses, oddly enough, lath. You know, those strips of wood used to hold plaster to the wall? Sometimes you'll find fishermen using old lobster traps whereas more contemporary artists may use lattice or lumber stickers.

Lath art is similar to marquetry in that you use various shapes of wood to create a picture. Where marquetry relies on wood grain and color to define the picture, lath art relies on the position and direction of the lath strips to define detail and space. Each strip is cut into sections with the scroll saw, then individually colored. Before long, you have a wonderful piece of artwork to hang on your wall.

Lath Art Paintings has several examples of lath art. Take a look. You can really see how the direction of the lath makes all the difference in the world. It really is a fascinating art form and something that scrollers may want to try their hand at.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Support Scroll Saw Goodies

I think a lot of people would be surprised how much time goes into writing a regular blog. I probably spend 10-15 hours a week, researching, reading, and writing articles. It is a labor of love and I really enjoy it. To me, running this blog is just another aspect of my scroll sawing hobby.

I'd like to expand Scroll Saw Goodies and provide even more content. But I can't do it alone. I need your help. There are a lot of ways you can support SSG.

  • Spread the word. Readers is what keeps bloggers motivated, and I'm no different. I'd like to expand the SSG readership. So the best way to support SSG is to tell people about it! That's it! Let your friends, clubs, and neighbors know about SSG.
  • Link to me. Most search engines calculate the number of links to a website to determine a page ranking. Naturally, the higher the page ranking, the more traffic. Higher traffic translates into a wider readership. So if you have a website, blog, or social networking profile, link to SSG! If you have a scroll saw related website, we can also do a link exchange.
  • Suggest a site. I have a knack for finding websites that have something to offer scrollers. But the internet is a big place. I can't find everything. So if you know of a website, an article, or video that you think SSG readers would enjoy, shoot me an email and tell me about it so I can share it with other scrollers!
  • Leave a comment. Post an opinion, correction, or an 'atta-boy' in the comments section of each post. I love to receive feedback. Plus its a great way to add additional information. You can also leave a quick messsage in the shoutbox on the sidebar.
  • Shop the SSG store. I have set up an Amazon store where I have selected books, tools, and other items I feel scroller would enjoy. Anything purchased through the store, I get a small kickback. Since the store is run by Amazon, you can rest assured that it is safe and you'll get top notch service. Proceeds are used to expand the website and provide better content.
  • Shop Rockler. I've also added a few products from Rockler to the sidebar that may interest you. Rockler is a great woodworking store and has a lot of products that would benifit scrollers. I also get a small kickback for any items purchased through these links. So take a look next time you're in the market for some woodworking tools. I also get a few cents for catalog referrals. So if you'd rather have a print version of their catalog, you can request one here.
  • Buy me a cup of coffee. After a long week of blogging, I just need to treat myself to a cup of joe. And coffee always tastes better when somebody else buys. So if you appreciate the website and would like to buy me a cup of coffee, you can click the Donate button below and send a dollar or two my way. I'll think of you fondly as I sip my tasty beverage.

I hope you continue to enjoy Scroll Saw Goodies. I really enjoy writing it. I write every weekday, excluding holidays, so there's always something new to read. So be sure to check back often for more Scroll Saw Goodies. You can also subscribe to get the articles delivered via email. The subscription form is on the sidebar.

Thank you for your support and happy scrolling!


Friday, March 21, 2008

Paper Cutting for Scrollers

The last few posts, I've been talking about scherenschnitte, the German art of paper cutting. But this is a scroll saw blog, right? So, why am I talking about paper cutting?

Its not hard to see that many of the design principles of scherenschnitte are shared with scroll sawn fretwork. The designs must remain continuous and unbroken. Each art form plays with positive and negative space that allude to details. Sometimes we cut out the shadows, and other times we cut out the highlights. The designs also share similar motifs. From strictly decorative, to word art, to scenic and wildlife designs. The styles between the two art forms tend to be a little different, but that's what makes it interesting. Since the two art forms are so closely related, we can easily take stylistic and thematic elements of scherenschnitte and incorporate it into our own scroll sawn artwork to create a truly unique piece.

The problem with scherenschnitte is that it is very time consuming. Which also translates into expensive end product. Lets say you spent 2 hours on a paper cutting and you want to charge $30/hour. You'll have to sell that paper cutting for $60. Probably out of the price range of many of your customers. You find scherenschnitte artists often make prints of their artwork and sell them instead. Which is fine, but I think I'd rather have a cutting rather than a photocopy. At the same time, I also don't want to spend $60.

Scroll sawing has the same issue. However, we have a trick up our sleeves. We can stack cut our designs to create multiple copies. We can cut four layers (or more) of 1/8" Baltic birch at the same time. So now, we have the same 2 hours of work and charging $30/hour. But now we have 4 finished pieces! Which means you can sell for $15 each and still get your $30/hour. That's a pretty good deal. Now your customers are interested!

What if we combine the two art forms? What if we take 10 sheets of paper and sandwich it between 2 pieces of 1/8" Baltic birch and stack cut them on the scroll saw? We end up with 10 paper versions of the design and 2 wooden versions of the design. I bet you can see where I'm going with this. But lets break it down anyway. 2 hours of work at $30 per hour is $60 worth of work invested. But, you end up with 12 cuttings all together! That means you can sell each cutting for $5 each and still make your $30/hour. Wow! But, that's way too cheap! You don't want to give away your artwork! So let's boost the price of your paper cuttings to something more reasonable. In my neck of the woods, I can sell the paper cuttings for $10 each. And let's sell the wooden versions for $25 each. Now you customers have the option of choosing a less expensive version of your artwork, or the wooden cutting traditionally associated with scroll work. Not only does this technique offer your customer choices, but it also increases the value of your work to $150 for 2 hours of work. I don't know about you, but making $75/hour is not a bad gig!

So how do we go about cutting paper with a scroll saw? Well, Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts forum has a couple of great threads on just that. Read through these threads (Paper Cutting 1, Paper Cutting 2). You'll learn a few techniques on how to add papercuts to your inventory.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Steven Gu's Papercuttings

We've looked at a couple of scherenschnitte galleries in the last couple of posts. Karin's work has a folk art feel that's obviously inspired by folk and fairy tales. Cindy's work tends to have a graphic art/illustration feel to it. Now lets take a look at artist Steven Gu.

Steven was born in Shanghai, China, but now resides on Vancouver Island. Much of his work has an Asian influence. But he also pays homage to the Victorian and Pennsylvania Dutch style in several of his pieces. His designs are very intricately detailed and rather delicate. This attention to detail reminds me of the work of scroll saw artist/designer Jeff Zaffino. Check out Steven's gallery. You'll be quite amazed at his craftsmanship and the beauty of his designs.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cindy Mindy Pindy's Papercuttings

Cindy Mindy Pindy has a great blog that shows off her latest papercuttings. She has a assortment of scherenschnitte with a wide variety of styles ranging from abstract to traditional illustration. Take some time and look through her archives and check out her work. Its a great source of inspiration and may spawn a few ideas for your own scroll saw designs.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Scherenschnitte. Excuse me! Actually, scherenschnitte (shear-n-SNIT-a) is the German art of paper cutting that dates back to the 1500's. Many of the principles of scherenschnitte are shared with scenic fretwork. You have to design the pattern in such a way that the finished cutting is one piece, but still retains the detail of a drawing. However, scherenschnitte tends to be more silhouette oriented and the cut design usually represent the shadows.

I have found a great gallery of scherenschnitte designs by Karin Dickel-Jonasch. Her main website is in German, and since the website is flash based, translation tools won't help. But her gallery is fantastic. Here's a direct link to her gallery. Its really neat to look at these type of designs, as they're much more unusual than the patterns we typically create. It definitely has its own aesthetic and her designs obviously have reference to folk and fairy tales. Take a look. I think they'll really be a great inspiration to some of your own designs.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Blue Bird Pattern

I love whiling away my summer afternoons, sitting on my patio and watching the birds do their thing. Unfortunately, summer's not here quite yet. Until then, I've got a great fretwork pattern of a blue bird from Accent Woodcraft Designs. The patten is free to download. The detailed cutting instructions make it perfect for beginners, but pretty enough for the seasoned scrollers. When you frame it, try using a navy blue felt backing instead of black. It looks great! While you're there, check out their other patterns. They have a lot of great stuff.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Bouyerchrist's Gallery

I love looking at galleries of other people's work. I often go seek them out specifically. Unfortunately, the search engines I use only offer English speaking websites. Its a shame, because there is a big ol' world out there. I stumbled across Bouyerchrist's scroll saw gallery/blog awhile back. Bouyerchrist is located in Chambéry in France. The website is mostly a gallery of photos, so the language barrier won't be much of a problem. You can use Babel Fish to translate the web page for you and you should get a good idea of what is being said. Check it out. Bouyerchrist has some wonderful scroll sawn artwork. I'm sure it will be a great inspiration to some of your own designs!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Web Sales Can Increase Your Crafting Revenue

by: Natalie Goyette

Think of an ideal craft show for a moment… thousands of people coming through the turnstiles at the fairgrounds or the exhibition areas with money in their hands and an intense desire to spend it. What about having a million people with access to your crafts at a craft show - at any time they wanted. That would really be IDEAL!

At a typical craft show, you are going to see hundreds, and maybe a couple thousand people visiting over any given weekend. Some shows are bigger than others, but even with 2,000 people coming through the gates, how many of them are stopping and looking at your booth with the intention of buying? It can vary. If you could somehow increase the number of people that stop by your booth, it makes sense that you could increase your sales, right?

Have you thought of a website for your crafts? This is the ultimate craft show - millions of people can access your information and your products, and you have limited set up fees - and orders can be placed while you are sleeping snug in your bed at night.

Putting together a good website for your crafts takes a little bit of effort to get off the ground, but it might be well worth the work. Here's what you have to do:

" Design a site - You can probably find someone to give you a hand with this, and it doesn't have to be very elaborate looking - just enough to show pictures of your crafts, their prices, a little bit about you… etc. It is important to make sure that you set the site up with a secure credit card payment system, as this will aid in a greater number of sales, just like in a regular craft show.

" Find a host - All sites need a web host in order to post them on the Internet. There are hundreds of providers out there, and you just need to find the one that is right for you. Chances are you have a friend or acquaintance that has a website, and they may be able to help you with on for your crafts.

" Drive traffic to the website - This can be done any number of ways: articles like this one, having others link to your site, update your pages regularly so your pages are indexed by search engines like Google and Yahoo! Coming up with the right keywords for your crafts is important for when people are searching the Internet for the type of craft you make.

" Maintain the site - I would suggest updating your crafting website at least once every two weeks, and maybe even once a week if you have time. This provides a certain amount of confidence for web buyers that your craft site up alive and well!

While having a website can certainly boost your sales, the other side of the coin is that you might be inundated with orders! That's not necessarily a bad thing, except you could be working night and day to meet the orders! One way to avoid this is to post on your website how many of a certain item is available.

Remember imagining a craft show where millions of people came in and they had money to spend on crafts? Now you have it… albeit a virtual craft show. The sky is the limit when you are talking about selling your crafts on the Internet. With the right presentation, the right price and with the right traffic driven to your site, you can open the doors to your crafts for millions of people.

About The Author
Natalie Goyette is the author of the best selling e-book "Craft Show Success" which finally shows crafters how they can make money selling their crafts!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Brian Law's Wooden Clocks

A while back, I wrote about wooden gear clocks and listed several sources for patterns. Well, now that you have your first clock done, check out Brian Law's clock plans. He has 4 clocks to choose from. Best of all, they're free! Yup, you heard right! I'm not sure if I'd call them patterns, however. They're more along the lines of blueprints. They are rather technical and probably best suited to a more advanced clockmaker. So if you have a head for math and engineering, these are right up your alley. The plans are downloadable in PDF format for easy printing. His website also includes construction info, exploded drawings, and other information related to clock making.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Easter Puzzles

Well, I thought I'd jump into the Easter spirit too and design a new pattern. This time, we've got two bunny puzzles and three Easter egg puzzles. They're pretty quick project. For a more festive look, dye the wood with watered down acrylics or leather dye. I've provided the pattern as a PDF. For those of you out there using Inkscape, I've also provided the source file! Enjoy the pattern!

If you enjoy this free scroll saw pattern, please consider a small donation. Proceeds go to supporting SSg podcast and future expansions.
Thank you for your support.
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Monday, March 10, 2008

Hugs for Hope

Rick (aka Scrollzlilla) from Spitting Image WoodWoodworking is running a charity drive on behalf of Make A Wish Foundation. His daughter's Senior class is raising money for Make A Wish Foundation by giving Hugs for Hope. In the spirit of giving, Rick is donating all proceeds from pattern sales between March 12-18 will be donated to this worthy cause.

Make A Wish Foundation is a very special charity that has made wishes come true for thousands of children with a life threatening illness. They help make a wish come true for a child in need every 41 minutes! My neighbor's daughter had a wish come true by this fantastic group of people. Its amazing how a little thing like this makes such a big difference.

You can read more about this charity drive from his website. While you're there, buy a few of those patterns you've had your eye on. The proceeds will help make a wish come true for a very deserving child.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Easter Yard Art

Wow, the bunnies are certainly multiplying this week. I've given you a lot of great Easter projects to decorate the inside of your house. What about the outside? I've got a great yard art project for you from Accents Woodcraft Designs. Although not a scroll saw project, I'm sure it will satisfy the scroller in us.

This cute bunny and chick pattern is a 15 page pattern. Print them out, tape them together, cut and paint. Couldn't be more easy. The instructions are clear and has easy painting guides to help layout our pattern. Check it out. While you are there, check out their other patterns. They have a lot of great stuff to keep you busy for the next few Easters!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Simple Bunny Puzzle

OK. So you're not much of a painter, but you still want a bunny puzzle for Easter? Here's a simple little puzzle that should make the child in us smile. This pattern is provided by Better Woodworking Guide & Directory. They also have a few more free scroll saw patterns available too. They're quick and easy and worth checking out!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Painted Bunny Puzzle

Easter wouldn't be the same without an Easter Bunny! Here's a fun painted puzzle pattern from Trish's Crafts. This would work really well on some MDF or some scrap wood you have laying around. The pattern is in JPG format for easy scaling and the instructions include a painting guide. Check it out!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Poll Results & New Poll March 2008

The results our in on our little web poll. There were 40 votes all together. Most listen to music while scrolling. But 10% prefer to be left alone with their thoughts. I prefer to listen to audio books. That the only way I get any reading done! ;) Anyway, the final results are below.

What do you listen to while scrolling?

  • Music - 67% (27 votes)
  • Talk Radio - 15% (6 votes)
  • Podcasts - 2% (1 vote)
  • Audio Books - 5% (2 votes)
  • Nothing - 10% (4 votes)
  • Other - 0% (no votes)

Now its time for our next poll. Lets see how much quality time you spend with your beloved saw. I'll leave this poll up until the end of the month. Cast your ballots now!

How much time do you spend scrolling per week?
  • 0-2 hours
  • 2-4 hours
  • 4-10 hours
  • 10-20 hours
  • 20-40 hours
  • 40+ hours

Easter Pattern

Since we're in the Easter spirit, perhaps another Easter pattern is in order. Sue Mey from Scrollsawartist has a offered a new pattern for those interested. This would make a great wall hanging for your Easter festivities. She is also running a special where you can get two additional Easter patterns for free! The details are at the bottom of her free patterns page. Check it out!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Angel Bunny

Most would agree that bunnies are cute and cuddly. But angelic? Well, that's certainly the case with this free pattern from the Windfield Collection. This Angel Bunny pattern will be a great addition to your Easter decor. The pattern is clearly labeled with construction and painting instructions. You can find the pattern here. Look for the date March 2007 (patterns 01, 02 & 03).

They have several other free patterns available, too. While you are there, check out the patterns they have available for sale. Many of these will make great craft show items. If you prefer to browse a regular catalog rather than online, you can order their catalog here.