Rob Gorrell - Folk Artist

Get your lanterns now. It will be dark soon.

tramp art box

Starting on a new Tramp Art Sewing Box.

Rob GorrellComment

I have been wanting to make a new sewing box for a little while now and have finally started working up the design.  The last sewing box I made was this one.

This time I decided to do a box with a simple geometric design of triangles, then a lid similar to the green box.  To get started I drew a simple pattern for the box sides.  After numbering the parts I realized that I only needed two of the pieces, duh.

From here I cut out all the parts for the first layer. To make the pattern for the next layer up I drew lines about 1/4" in on the pattern and cut it down to the lines. Generally the top layer is made the same amount smaller along each edge as the thickness of the layer below.  Here are some more of the parts cut out.

One thing for sure. I need to get different lighting in the shop for photography.

The top is all cut out, notched and ready to paint. Each layer will be painted and finished before being applied to the lid.

Next I will finish notching the triangles for the sides and start painting pieces.  Hopefully I can post some progress in a few days.

 

Tramp Art Church update.

Folk Art, Painted Folk Art, Tinware, Tramp ArtRob GorrellComment

The proportions of this cupboard have been puzzling me for some time now. As it sits without any layers of applied wood, it looks kind of odd. I have convinced myself that the finished project that sits nebulously in my head will balance out as layers are added.  Along the way I have tried some different ideas on the sides and back. This shot shows a couple of ideas that I tried out for the space on the sides.  The problem arises when the door is opened.  Anything added to the sides cannot interfere with the full opening of the doors. In my vision of the project, the doors will be left open.  In the end, both of these ideas were scrapped.  The bottom section is going well and is pretty straight forward.  Here you can see that I have added the carved borders, notched the shelves and added the church door influenced center drawer front.

Tramp art church cupboard with bottom notches

The majority of my time was spent working out the top section.  I am working on combining punched and distressed metallic elements with the traditional tramp art carving.  After I get all the individual parts cut out and notched, I will begin painting the background and etch the metal elements before final assembly.  Here is where I left off:

My point and shoot digital camera had no idea what to do with this setup. I may set this aside for a while because I have had a couple new orders pop up.  Also, there is another piece started that I want to post that involves sea critters and buttons.

As a little preview....

Starting another tramp art church cupboard.

Folk Art, Painted Folk Art, Tramp ArtRob GorrellComment

I keep coming back to the inspiration provided by the cathedrals and churches we have seen on vacations over the past few years.  There is something about the interplay of eternity and decay in the metal stone and paint of the structures that affects me deeply.  I haven't sorted out what that all means, but I definitely feel the need to work it out in my recent folk art and tramp art work.

     The previous cupboard that I made in this vein was the Tramp Art Cathedral. It had tall pointed spires and a number of drawers. I tried some new ideas to incorporate used tin cans and other metal into the wooden tramp art carving which I think added a lot of interest to the piece. This time I want to play with the round and pointed arches and doors from places like Notre Dame in Paris. These first few pictures show where I was when I started on the piece a couple of weeks ago.  At this point I just have the basic body blocked in, no carving or applied pieces yet.  The proportions are a little off right now with the doors closed, but I think it will be fine once I all of the layers of carving and metal.  

Green tramp art sewing box finished.

Painted Folk Art, Tramp ArtRob GorrellComment
etsy-1-green-sewing-box.jpg

Over the past couple of evenings I finished the tramp art sewing box that I have been working on lately.  I had pretty much finished the woodworking part in my last post. Now it was time for the finish work. I try to start out with a color or shade that is a good bit lighter that where I will end up. Tramp art sewing box with first coat of paint.

At the layers build I take a heat gun to the piece and try to bubble up and crack the finish. I also add stain every so often. The number of layers really depends of how it looks as I go. At some point it will either seem right, or get kicked around the shop and burned. This is what it looked like near the end of the finishing process.

We had some faded yellow wool that I used to sew up the pincushion. I am not sure if the antique versions had removable cushions or not.  I like the idea of being able to switch it out with something new later on if I want to.

I sometimes through in an odd color to mix things up. Have you ever picked up an old painted piece and noticed it had once been painted some now horrible color? I have seen twig stools painted with what looks like aluminum roof paint. I suppose that looked good to someone back through the years.  I'm sure that years from now someone will pick up something that I painted and say "what the hell was he thinking using these colors?"  I like to add an odd color in that might peek through the upper layers just a little.  But not on this piece.

In the end this is what I came out with.  It is about 8.5 x 8.5 x 5.5 inches tall. The opens to reveal the removable wood tray.  The pegs on top will hold smallish spools of thread.  There wasn't room to allow for large spools.  The next few pictures show the finished tramp art sewing box. I listed it in my Etsy store this morning.

Green tramp art sewing box with yellow pin cushion.Green tramp art sewing box with lid openTramp art sewing box with yellow pin cushionClick here to see previous post on this project.

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Tramp Art Sewing Box - continued.

Painted Folk Art, Tramp ArtRob GorrellComment
tramp-art-jewelry-box-unpai1.jpg

I got a chance to work on the new sewing box for another couple hours. I am almost ready to start putting a finish on the box.  If you missed the earlier post where I started the box, click here. I had been putting off working on the back of the sewing box because I was not sure what to do about the way the lid opened. I finally decided to go ahead and put the floral cutouts on without wrapping a full frame around them. tramp-art-sewing-box-back-parts This seemed like a decent way to keep the flowers the same all the way around. It's not a perfect solution, but I went with it.  Here you can see the parts cut out. The difficulty is that when the lid opens the back of the lid rotates into the box, so I can't put anything on the very back of the lid.

After edging the rectangles and easing the flowers I ended up here:Tramp-art-jewelry-box-back

The plan is to add dowels to the top to hold spools of thread. This was pretty straightforward with a walnut dowel rod and one more layer of pine.  I got to use my favorite little low angle block plane. A low angle block plane is great for planing end grain and for taking very fine shavings on small parts. This particular plane is made by Lie-Nielson, but there are several companies that make them.

I cut out and camfered the edges of the spool bases and added them to the box lid.  Ahhh, nearly ready for the tray and finish.  I made a small tray, nice and square, to fit inside of the tramp art sewing box, which turns out, is not all that square. After a little benchtop sander work it fit.tramp-art-sewing-box-inside

So here is what the project looked like at the end of the evening:

Do you ever get nearly finished with a project and have one of those "Oh crap" moments?  I do....

In this case I neglected to notice that the side of the lid are not the same width as the ends. So when I stuck the spools of thread on the top to see how it looked the dowels were to close to the middle on two sides. Crap. Luckily the glue had not dried and I could pry two sides off to be fixed next time.

One of these days I will learn to draw out a project before I start.  More later.

Click here to see post about finished project.

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