Sunday, 27 December 2009


Some believe pyrography should not have colour added, others use colour - me I've no qualms about it. So I gave the Waterhorses a little wash. The photo on the left is one of a pair I'm working on. A fantasy bird (peacock) from Pictish/Keltic mythology. Still more than a little work to do there but they're getting there. These I will paint in an effort to bring out the design.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

kelpies, water horses

The two photos here are representations of the mythological beastie from our Pictish history. A monstor of great strength and both fish and animal. These old Picts must have been on the booze a bit!

The photo on the left is of a carving on a stone near here at Aberlemno. The rights side is a burning I copied.

Friday, 18 December 2009

My goddaughter

Her names Brandii, her line name I can n't remember. However I picked as a 6 week old for a friend of mine, Bob Hannah. He wanted a long haired bitch with a steady nature. fortunately for me I picked well. What I did n't allow for was training her by phone. First time I've tried that way. However it seems to be working. Every couple of months I go north an hour and see her and up till now she's doing well. This has been Bob's dream for many years but he's waited till he retired and could give the time needed for the breed.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

bookmarks pyro

I've been burning a few of these over the last week. The reson I've always copied my celtic knots and decided to try drawing them from scratch. Mmmm not so easy, the difficult part is trying to keep the ribbons the same width through out. However an interesting approach.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Oh deer

I'll do better than that Allan here's one before its finished. Your right without stretching we can n't progress. If the truth be known I'm just "A Grumpy Aul Man".

Friday, 11 December 2009

Why do I do this. groan

I started carving when I was 67 years old. Now its not a hobby thats easy to learn. Still three years later I take on caving patterns that are, well intricate. I did it with "whale spoon" in the summer, the bloody thing had me in desperation. Now I've don it again with a "deer spoon", once is a mistake twice is a no no. I'll post a photo up tomorrow.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Burnt spoon

I bought, yes bought a blank, oh the pain of paying for it, of limewood.
Decided to pyrograph it and this was the outcome.

Friday, 4 December 2009

spoon and board

The spoon is a couple ideas I put together. A thistle at the top not a pineapple.

I've afriend Paul who is in the advanced stages of a muscle wasting illness. He collects key fobs as his collection is growing he needs another board, I've burned this for his Xmas.

Monday, 30 November 2009

latest knife

I made this from an old cutthroat. A lot of time grinding it but the Pro-Edge meant for once I' did n't over heat the blade. The handle is a piece of old mahogany I'd lying around. The pyro did n't work well the wood is too dark. However all in it feels right

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Callies plate

This plate had too many knots for chip carving so I burned it.

Its a present for my friend's granddaughter, a birthplate.
7 inches across.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

I did n't carve these

After noting Allen's interest in furniture making I thought these photos might interest him. So. its a desk I bought many years ago (30) originally used as an office desk by a faimly grocer. The lide folds down and is then support by the two pull outs. I like it still never get fed up looking at it. Id say hand carved. The sides have art novau whirls on them. There you are Allen.

Friday, 20 November 2009

kinfe and spoons

The first photo , a poor one, of a knife I've made from an old cut throat razor.
The second is a couple of love spoons for the coming season. Athough its not one I celebrate others do. Both are limewood and wood dye, getting to like the stuff. If I use it sparingly sometimes it looks great , other times well.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

new knife

The left side is the knife I bought from Preferred Edge. I've only used it on apple wood, to try it out. Its double edges and I like the idea. However like most things it takes me a while to get used to it. I want to use it on a cherry wood bowl I've started but lacked the means of finishing.

The black thing on the right is a scalpel handle made by Veratis. A compfortable tool in the hand. I'm using it in an effort to clean up carvings. The butt end has a cavity for spare blades.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

viking hound

Here's my latest headache. Its from a patteren in an Irish book. It represents a hound. My it nature and size its a bit delicate. I carved so much and have it now in position on a Jewelery box lid. Its at the stage that a magnifying glass and a scalpel are called for. The scalpel is a Swan Morton handle and blade. I 'd say a good idea I mentioned this to Tom and will put a photo on this blog, when I remember.For me its work and hour and then walk away from. I tend to get careless if I spend more time. If its passable fine, if not its only tack glued to the lid.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

catch up

Writing here when I've nothing to say really. The reason for the blog in the virst place was an attempt at a form of discipline. I believe that it will help me to have a structure to my time. Self discipline being the most difficult for most of us and it gets no easier as we age.

We'd a wedding anniversary meal, we're 14 years married. I got a good deal, not so sure Janice did.
Whatever the meal went well.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

belt buckle

I carved this belt buckle from walnut. Its for a friend who makes knives, hence the hammer and the knife.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

celtic spoon

Finally a Celtic Spoon I've carved in walnut. It may have been better if it had been done with thinner parts. Maybe next time.

Bob's spoon

This is a spoon for another friend to mark his 40 year marriage. I think he deserves a medal for bravery!


This is a spoon I carved for a knife making friend. He gets the spoon and I get a blade. The pattern is based on a spoon I have already carved. I added a turn in the main part.
I hope he likes it.

Monday, 12 October 2009

First female, Eve.

She's a mate for that blue fella I carved , she's also my first female; carving that is.
Not unlike my buddy Mack the Knife.
This was done while we were in Paphos and stained on our return. I burned parts , as shadows and to keep the colours seperate.

I seemed to have got caught in a series of spoon carvings and this was a nice change.

Friday, 9 October 2009

sun and relaxation.

We've returned after a fotnight on Cyprus, our hotel was in Paphos, near the Tomb of the Kings. A pleasant 14 days swimming twice most ddays. More importantly 14 rain free days.
The lady on the right is my wife Janice, while the one oon the right is Christine a friend from the ilsland of Bara.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Best Dog at the Wedding

The friend who bred Jimmee got married a fortnight ago. As a surprise we took him along, she was over the moon. He was the first pup she bred and is fond of him. He has a nature that makes it difficult not to like him. That and a lot of work was put into him in his early training.

The lady on the right is Janice my long suffering wife.

Janice and I leave today for Paphos for a fortnight's holiday. Unfortunately we've to leave the two dogs here. However a neighbour boards dogs and treats them well. So off to sit on my rear end in the sun.
I've got the accoutrement's needed for a holiday; cryptic crosswords, a knife and a few bits of wood. A knife making friend wants a spoon carved so I've cut the roughout and hopefully make a spoon he'll enjoy.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

I've always been crazy.

Anyone whose ever read this blog will have doubts about my sanity. No doubt crediting old age as a contributing factor. This old photo proves this is not the case.
At 40 years I climbed the Inaccessible Pinnacle on the Black Cullin. So nether youth nor old age can be blamed. If more proof is needed I climbed all the Munroes in Scotland, and enjoyed it.

Friday, 18 September 2009

My photographic skills are one above zero, however played around with the software . The problem was the wood dye I used on this carving, in a colour photo it shows up too strong. So I tried this in sepia. A whole lot better.

Monday, 14 September 2009

You can n't win them all.

Well its a learning process, right? There's a carver I admire a fellow called Mieto. His caricatures are different. I carved one similar to his . Then tried to paint it in his way. Thats when it all went pear shaped. Always one to show what I' carving so why not the disasters?

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Here's my latest bit of tortures limewood. The patteren is one I've sone before, this time I've changed the colours.

The op I had has resulted in an infextion. The Anti -biotics do n't seem to be working. Still the course has another 2 days to run.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

spoon knife

Here's a knife I recently bought. I purchased the blank blade from Deepwood Ventures in the US. I added a hornbeam handle and I've a knife I'm really fond of. The sharpener is a bit of broom handle on which I've stuck a couple of turns of hard leather to match the shape of the blade. When rouge is added it sharpens well.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

nautical spoon.

The old life comes back to me on occasion, the result here is a spoon with a nautical theme. This is the notorious horn beam wood. A lot of work but a bonny wood.


A bit north of here, the Moray Firth area has and still is suffering flood damage. A month's rain fell in 24 hours. We're on an elavated site here with all rivers below us.
Anyhow I'm confined to barracks and under strict instructions not to leave the premises. SWMBO let me cut a blank yesterday, but fussed in the shed's door was making sure I made my visit a short one. She returns to work today and will no doubt take the keys to the shed with her!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

odin scoop

Well thats the op over and the count there is still two. In the mean time as a guard against my Dally I walk around with a pillow on that region.

Now a different topic, I'm learning some carvings just do n't take good photos. I do n't believe I'm over rating this carving but the photo just does n't do it justice. Try as I might, different settings etc the photos are rubbish. However its carved from apple and more importantly I like it. That is the aim of the game.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

I do n't BELIEVE

Arrived already for the knife ,again, only to be told the surgeon had been involved in a traffic accident. So home again . A telephone call from the hospital later in the day gave me a slab appointment for today at 13.00 hrs. Will this one be cancelled? The suppense is killing me.
The subject line is stollen from a character Mr. Meldrew in a serious One Foot in the Grave. While I'm not a TV fan this is an exceptionall seried, now finished.

Sunday, 30 August 2009


Tomorrow I go in for an op.. This was delayed 2 months until they were happy with new tests. Well they must be. I hope I do n't have to stay the night.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

wedding spoon

A family friend is getting married in a few weeks . Following my wife's instructions I carved this spoon as a favour for the bride. Its big 17 inches and carved from walnut.
Thank goodness I can sharpen my knives. I'm almost, almost, pleased with the result.

new baby new spoon

Not my baby I hasten to add, one of my young friend's. The patteren looked ok but I cann't say I like it when I carved it. I'll come up with something better next time.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

yin and yan

I'll leave others to understand what it's all about, to me its aspoon.
I carved this from hornbeam, hard wood.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009


I cut a small piece of the slab we bought and experimented. With a sharp knife I can cut with the grain. Anything else I need to use power. The finish is I think is bonny. Almost silky!

So the trial served its purpose. The spoon well it will do a friend for a coffee scoop.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

I said .... gosh

This is a spoon I've been working on and off at for months. The first design I had was a bummer. So I redisgned it to something I could manage and it was working till I knocked it off the carving table. As it lay in bits I said gosh or golly or something else. I went to bed early in the sulks.

Friday, 7 August 2009

walnut spoon

Here's my latest, American Black Walnut. Tried the Keltic idea again , a bit better. SWMBO has claimed it.

We had a walk with the dogs in the woods at Invier , a lovely mixed wood land,. There's a small sawmill there , got myself a slab of hornbeam and some lime wood.

I've been wanting to try this wood for a while, maybe a seal or a fish would look good in this wood. If its as hard as I'm told I'll use power tools.

Monday, 27 July 2009

more wood destroyed

I'm getting the hang of this destroying perfect wood. This time its apple wood a whole new field opens up for me. Sorry about the photo quality.
However its my take on the Nordic God Odin. That means its not my design do n't remember where I got it. Been using my mini knifes and Oar Carver . A friend , he carves and quilts, said the Oar was a knifeworth having. He's right but it took be time to get the hang of it.

Monday, 20 July 2009


We Brits have an obsession when it comes to the weather. Stuck for a topic, the weather is there.
Why, well in fairness its changeable here. From not too bad to bloody terrible. Geographically its to be expected, were on the same latitude as south Alaska. Without the Gulf Stream we'd be in real trouble. Add to that that we are a group of small isles then all is as it should be. What is a pest is the timing of unwelcome weather. My wife's had a week's break from work it rained almost every day. So now she's back at work its stopped.

Carving wise, I've just finished the walking stick for my friend. Giving it a good coating and shine before I send it. I'll check the postage rates before I go any further. I may have to cut the stave to make it cost effective.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

walking stick,

Another walkingstick, a bit different from the last one. I've been trying to carve green wood, apple mainly. As part of this I carved a cane handle, this I joined to a piece of well seasoned holly. An embossed piece of brass was used to hide the joint. A leather lace was used to create the loop.

Saturday, 11 July 2009


Well because of red tape getting plice chacks etz, I've been waiting to do volunteer work for the charity my wife works for. This is for my benefit. Over the last few yeas I've became more reclusive, happy in my wife's and my dogs' comany. The loner has always been part of my make up. So to put the brakes on this developing any further I've taken this step. Nothing big, a few hours a month. My first job will be to help Roberta with a voice recognition programme she has on her PC.
You never know it might stop me being a self centered auld geht.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

wee boy

This is small carving of wee boy. Limewood and wood stain . Its obvious photography is not my thing. It's meant to be a "no see um" carving. One of my friends, Pau; is severly handicaped physicaly. He can only move 2 fingers in one hand. He's told my wife who works with him he's getting a shelf erected in his room for my carvings, I think he's hinting at something. The size of the shelf might be an indication.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Well how did that happen.

We'd a small windfall, my share let me buy two traveling set from Cape Forge. I've been using them a fair bit and think they are great. These are the wee sets I'm talking about. Then last night I broke one. Nothing to do with the craftmansip. Jimee the Dally has a tail like a stock whip, and it hit the knife from the table to the floor. I picked it up unaware of anything wrong. When I came to tidy up I then notice the tip of the knife had broken clean off. Of course its the one I used most.
Moral of this story, Things happen.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Bloody Gremlins at work here.

Janice's walking stick

Like everyone my wife is getting older, gone are the days we'd trot up the Lomond to have an outdoor snack. So with that in mind I made her this fancy walking stick. Its from a pattern in this issue of WI. The theme is sourced from a gargoyle on Notre Dam cathedral . I've continued the stone work down the stick. The buffalo horn joiner helps set it off. Well for some reason I can n't upload the images.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

leaf spoon

This might interest you Mack.

The wood is spalted beech, I choose it because of the figuration. The design is not mine and entirely non useable as a spoon. The colour is wood dye which I put on sparingly. Aimed for an Autumn look.
Like I said useless for my porridge .

Monday, 22 June 2009

Jimee's gold

Calm down he has n't struck it rich.

As you all know I've two dogs, Jimee is the younger 19 month old Dalmatian. He's progressed through bronze and silver at the Kennel Club behaiour classes and on Saturday he passed his gold. We're all pleased with him. Janice was there and Gale the woman who bred him. Of then all Jimee and I were the most laid back! He got the medal I got a hug.

I'm new to this breed but I'm told on a regulat basis, they are stupid, head strong ., stupid etc."
There are, in my opinion more stupid folk than stupid dogs. He's been different from others I've trained, Beearded collies and German Shepherds. Given my lack of breed knowledge it says a lot for Jimee's natural ability.

When he was six months old we went to a local obdience class. Before we could enrol we we're informed;
I was too old for a dog that size;
That breed were untrianable.

For once I kept the cool and did a u turn.
When his gold medal is inscribed I'm going back to tell this person what I think of her. Looking forward to that, so will Jimee, he speaks on command.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Walnut dolphin

SWMBO seen a carving - good one of a dolphin. When she asked if I'd give one a try I knew better than to offer a negative reply. Then she added, " in that bonny wood". Walnut.!!! What the hell. I asked around and got every response from do n't go there to its the best of carving wood. Anyhow I paid for some imported wood, American Black walnut and I've got to say its great to carve. So two pluses I 've learned a bit and also gained brownie points from Janice.

Monday, 15 June 2009

I'm back the pc.

Had a run of things not going to the way I planed, whats new. When through the appointments and with specialists, surgeons etc to have an op.. Sat there on the bed ready for the knife when it was decided it was necessary to have some more heart tests.! No comment!

Then the old pc began playing up. Got it repaired and my eife claimed it. So looked around for another one. Here we are again rarin' to go.
My first attempt at carving walnut, the spoon is for friends in South Africa.