Rob Gorrell


And now, Fish on a Stick.

Painted Folk ArtRob Gorrell1 Comment

Maybe it is a throw back to the days when I was more production oriented than I am now, but usually when I start making something I cut out parts for several items at once.  Along with the thin blanks that I used for Dork Fish and Punk Fish, I cut a 3 inch thick blank from some soft pine that I have salvaged. It was a scrap from a log home construction site.  At first I was planning on making a weather vane, complete with compass points. But when I got to this point I decided I liked the idea of it being on a simple cedar log stand.  As it neared completion my wife kept calling it the "fish on a stick", like Jeff Dunham's "jalapeno on a stick".  After a while the name Fish Stick just kind of stuck.

I am a beginning carver, so this is a bit primitive. But I am happy with the outcome. He is pretty beat up, with beer cap eyes and tin can fins. I added several coats of acrylic paint that I distressed to show colors through the layers.  The heat gut got a work out on this project.  If you are using a heat gun be very careful. There is a fine line between blistered paint and wood project smoking.

I think this is the end of the fish for a little while. I have some other tramp art projects in progress and am trying to get my newly aquired antique blacksmith forges repaired and ready to use for the summer.

This project  is for sale in my Etsy Store.

>Making a Tramp Art coin bank from scrap wood.

Painted Folk Art, Tramp ArtRob GorrellComment


     My brother and his wife are building a log home and I have been helping here and there with rustic trim work and window frames.  It turns out that the scraps from the trim work are perfect for tramp art carving. 
     The pine that was sawn for the house is very clear and soft. It carves with almost no effort.  This has come as a great relief since the walnut that I have been trying to hand carve was much harder to work with.  This pine still splits out if you cut too aggressively, but does better than the walnut and more sappy pine that I have in the shop.
     This little project is a coin bank. It is modeled after an antique in Tramp Art, Another Notch by Clifford A. Wallach.  I thought it was a nice functional piece of folk art and wanted to make my version of the design.
The box is about a 4" cube of 1/4" pine.  I cut out all the pieces before I started cutting the notches. This allows me to go kind of Zen with the notching.
Oops. This happens sometimes when I pre-cut the pieces. The notches went a little deeper than I expected in this softer wood. So I had to re-cut some of the upper layer sections.
Here is where I left off before painting.  It took me about three hours to get to this point.  I am happy with the design overall, though in hindsight I wish I had dome something besides the little wheels in the middle.  But I think it will all work together when I get the finish applied.  The plan is to give it a distressed two color finish.
Click here to see the post on the finished bank.

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>Finished Tramp Art Jewelry Display

Tramp ArtRob GorrellComment

>I finally finished a group of the Jewelry displays I talked about in my last post. I started out making a few of them in dark colors, but as things went along I found that I did not like them. Soooooo, more paint. Because as Dolly Parton said, "A good coat of paint will make any old barn look good". Gotta love Dolly. I ended up using a heat gun to blister the dickens out of the paint layers. The final finish nearly fills up some of the tramp art carving, which I think really works for these boxes.

Once again the final product is different from the original idea a little bit. But it works for me, this time. So these will go on my website and Etsy instead of going into the wood stove with previous disasters. Like I always say,"What won't sell will burn".

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>An update on the rustic garden.

WhateverRob GorrellComment

>Well it is hotter than .....well it's damn hot. I don't know if the little rustic garden is going to survive the heat wave so I thought I would post a couple photos of how it is working out at the moment. We have been trying to change our yard from something you just mow and weed into a more productive food source. Back in the spring I build a group of willow supports for veggies and reused some containers and a rusted wheel barrow for lettuce and herbs. We have been eating a lot of lettuce so far. The tomatoes are coming on along with summer squash and cucumbers. The green beans didn't make it. Time will tell on the winter squash.

The main problem now is getting enough water to the plants. Everything is baking on the driveway in this heat and I have been watering some stuff twice a day.

The willow structure is working pretty good. The squash is really climbing. I was inspired to try to build some sort of overhead arbor by the extensive gardens at Chenonceau in France. The gardens there are HUGE. They made extensive use of rustic trellises and arbors. I don't think my plants will ever do as well as theirs.

>Big changes on Rob's websites.

WhateverRob GorrellComment

>Hi. I have been wanting to update my domain name and website for a long time now and finally did it. After years of using even though I don't really feature that many chairs anymore, I switched to I think the new website is simpler and easier to navigate.

This morning I noticed that the slide shows are not linked right so I will have to fix that soon. In the future I plan to add new items to the store and add some feature pages. I still need to rebuild the links page also.

If you go to you will be redirected to the new site by clicking on the images.