Home‎ > ‎News‎ > ‎Feature stories‎ > ‎

Wearable Wooden Art Contest


WOW! I thought we were really going to be hard pressed to match last year’s tie contest…but fear not–oh maiden of untrusting spirit…what great fun we had at the wearable wooden art contest. The spirit was high, the judges were perplexed and working really hard, our speaker was a natural comedian, and the suspense was killing us. Out of the ranks of our extremely talented club members rose very beautiful, detailed, and well-crafted wearable wooden artworks. We did not envy the job of the judges!  Look and read what the participant's had to say:


Mike Snyder:
“There were about a half dozen ideas that I was exploring; [I settled on] a bouquet of petal puzzle pins—maple petals with a sumac core, black ash petals with a grapevine core, and walnut with a leopard wood center. You pull out the petals like the old game of ‘loves me, loves me not.’ The unique solution to this tricky puzzle is to reassemble the petals and put back the center.  The fit is tight enough that the assembled puzzle can be worn. It was a challenge to make it look lifelike, align the reverse side, and avoid gaps. I had to devise a jig to assemble it.”


Dave Fait:
“Never having made a wooden item to wear, I searched the internet for some wearable wood and found nothing appealing.  I have a tendency to make small things, so I decided on a pendent. Looking at a general crafts book, I found a design I could adapt to my project. The design contained walnut, bloodwood, poplar, and aspen. I wanted the poplar part of the design to be raised and the rest of the design to be flush. This made it more difficult to finish. It was rewarding to see and compare other projects in the contest with my project.”
Bruce Halvorson:
“My project was a top hat ‘Mad Hatter style’ made up of walnut, oak and veneer scroll sawed oval rings, sized to fit my head, stacked, glued and hand shaped to look like a top hat. Swede and Katie Nielsen’s bowl- and basket-making demonstration was the inspiration. This hat is basically built the same way a scroll saw bowl or basket is, only shaped a little differently. Making good tight, clean glue joints takes a lot of time and a lot of clamps but makes your project look professional. Spend extra time doing a good sanding job in preparation for your finish coat; it really makes a smooth, rich finish. It was a challenge finding good, highly figured (one inch) or thicker walnut lumber. I can’t wait until next year's scroll saw challenge.”


Glenn Jans:
“My item was eye glasses made of walnut and yellow heart wood. The lens is [an image] of my actual face. The face wood was aspen, sycamore, and makore. I colored my eyes with blue highlighter. It was hard to fit together such small pieces inside of the frames. People smile when I put them on.” 




John Engler:
“I wanted to make a name tag that I could use at shows and scroller events, so I decided to make an intarsia name tag. The pattern I used is a modified Judy Gale Roberts pattern of a cat playing with a ball, and the woods I used were aspen, bloodwood, yellow heart, and bocote.”








Nick Poleschuk:
“My piece is a leaf pendant made out of desert ironwood. The leaf came about when I was looking for something to sculpt other than eggshells. I had carved leaves before and I like miniatures, so all these came together as a leaf pendant. The difficulties I sometimes run into when sculpting a leaf pendant are: carving too deep and ending up with a thin spot, and breaking the stem when attaching the bail wire. I like the look of the leaf. The sculpting almost makes the leaf look real.”
Jon Carlson
"With the bracelet, I started by stack cutting the segments. On one side I microcarved to give a more realistic effect to the Celtic knotwork design. After finishing with Danish oil, I added the metal loops and fastener hardware.
The earrings and necklace are hollow. I started by using two halves of wood and gluing them together with paper in the center. Then I glued the pattern on. Next, I center punched and drilled the holes. This was followed by scroll sawing to open the areas designated by the pattern. Following the scrollsawing, I took the halves apart and holowed out the inside area. Then I glued the halves back together with the appropriate metal parts needed and again microcarved to make the Celtic knotwork more realistic. I finished with Danish oil and putting the metal pieces on the jewelry so that it became wearable."