Fish Out of Water – Intarsia Woodworking

Fish Full

Fish with Lure 2

Most everything that I do, I do with someone in mind and/or for some reason. I very rarely make something just to make it. I found a picture a while back that I really liked of a fish jumping up out of the water to catch a dragon-fly. What drew me to this design was the way the water seemed to splash right out of the frame over a log. I had it printed and held on to it until now.

My brother-in-law had a band saw that he never used and it seemed like it was going to waste. I had a feeling he would just be getting rid of it soon, so I called him up and asked him what his plans were for this saw. His response was “I’m taking it to your house!” Perfect I thought! I get a new toy and now I have an excuse to make him something as a way of saying “Thank You!”

It didn’t take me long to remember the fish design that I had stored away for such an occasion as this. I pulled it out and got to work immediately. Once I started this piece, I began to make small changes here and there. The design called for some weeds and cat tails sticking up out of the water. I didn’t like this as much, so I removed them from my plan. I also decided to remove the dragon-fly that the fish was jumping up to grab and I inserted a fishing lure.

Since my brother-in-law is a fisherman, I knew this change would personalize this piece and make all the difference in the world. I wanted it to look like the fish had just been hooked and was being pulled up out of the water. His delight when I gave it to him makes all of this worthwhile and I would consider this a mission accomplished!

We currently have a contest going on. If you like our Facebook page, you will be entered into the drawing for the Rose intarsia piece. As soon as we hit 200 Likes, we will hold the drawing. Each time you share our page with your friends, it will gain you additional entries into the drawing! Currently we are at 126 Likes on Facebook, so we are not far off from our goal. Continue sharing our page so that your name is in the drawing multiple times and we hit our goal faster! Good Luck!

http://www.facebook.com/chrismobleydesigns
http://www.cmobleydesigns.com

A New Adventure at The Lace Bandana

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I was flipping through our local newspaper this weekend when I came upon an article about a new local business that has just recently opened in Azle, TX. called The Lace Bandana. What caught my eye were photographs of homemade crafts and art from local artisans from around the area. I read the article to find out that a mother daughter duo has opened this unique store to give local vendors an opportunity to share in their passion of creating and selling one of a kind products.

I just had to check this out. I have lived in this area for quite some time and I have never seen such a great concept come to life. I drove out to their shop right before they closed to see what it was all about. I immediately loved the environment. I was greeted warmly as I walked in the door. I wanted to do a walk through before asking any questions about becoming a vendor. As I walked around I found some beautiful works of art, crafts, vintage items, etc. I really enjoyed looking at all of the great stuff. I was convinced, that this seemed like a great place to display my works as well.
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I made my way back to the front of the store and was able to meet the mother daughter team that owns the shop. Both were extremely nice and welcoming. They provided me all of the information on becoming a vendor in their store, and before I left, I had my deposit paid and everything set to move in this coming weekend.

I am very excited to embark on this new adventure. I have never had any of my work displayed in a shop of this sort before, and I am anxious to join The Lace Bandana team. We are set to move in on 03/30/2013, so if you are in the area, please stop by and take a look at what we have in store and what this new shop has to offer. I will continue to keep you updated on the move in as well as the progress of the shop. If you would like more information on The Lace Bandana you can visit their website at http://www.thelacebandanashop.com/index.html They will begin online sales as well very soon, so keep watch for that. They also have a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Lace-Bandana-Studio

Longhorn Stampede – Intarsia Woodworking

Longhorn Finished

I have just finished a new project that I am very excited about titled Longhorn Stampede. One of my favorite artist is Roberta Wesley. I often draw inspiration from her works. She has done a painting called “Day of the Horns” that I am very fond of, and this work inspired me to do a piece that I call Longhorn Stampede. In Roberta’s painting, the thing that draws me to it the most is the fact that the longhorn cattle seem to be running right towards you. To view Roberta Wesley’s work you can visit http://www.wesleyprints.com/index.html

I too wanted to create this illusion in my piece by layering the longhorns so that the very front longhorn is raised out of the picture the farthest and then each longhorn in the back ground is further and further back to created a 3D effect. I did this by starting with the center longhorn and working my way backwards.

I chose to do different types of wood for each longhorn in the piece to give it depth and to make it easier to differentiate each animal. Once all of the longhorns were completed, I then did the background. Like in Roberta Wesley’s painting, I also added a windmill in the background that I feel gives the project more character.

I framed the piece and added some old rusted barbed wire to the frame to give it the western rustic look.

I have been asked to take part in a local charity event that I am very excited about. The Azle Community Caring Center in Azle, TX. is putting on a Taste Tour Event on April 27th, 2013. Tickets are $25.00 each at local businesses or $30.00 on the day of the event. The taste tour is a sneak peek into 5 or 6 of Azle’s most beautiful and luxurious homes.

In each of these homes, guests will enter through the front door and walk into the kitchen/dining area. There, they will find a chef from an area restaurant or catering company who will be serving up a taste of one of their special culinary creations. Guests will walk from home to home sampling taste from around the world.

All proceeds from this taste tour will benefit the Azle Community Caring Center who does so much for our community including providing a weekend backpack of food that is sent home with about 350 children each week during the school year to ensure that the children have enough food to make it through the weekend.

I have been asked to participate in this event and to help raise money for this cause. I will be donating this piece to the Azle Community Caring Center to auction off prior to the Taste Tour. A private VIP party will be held prior to the tour where sponsors and donors will be able to bid on my piece and all the proceeds will go to the center.

For additional information on the Taste Tour and about Azle Community Caring Center visit http://www.azlecares.org

I will keep you all updated on the event as well.

For more pictures of this project, visit my website

http://www.cmobleydesigns.com

Turning Photographs into Wood Art

Some of my favorite projects to do is turning photographs into wood art. Each piece is unique and has special characteristics that mean something special to the customer. Taking something that a customer loves and turning it into artwork preserves that thing along with the memories that surround it. Some of the most common request that I get for these types of custom projects are vehicles, pets, homes, etc.

Boss Before and After

I enjoy creating these because each one is custom and there is not another like it. I get to create a plan and pattern that develops into something that no one else has done before.

Chevy Before and After

Of course there is something to be said about using set patterns created by accomplished pattern makers such as Judy Gale Roberts and Kathy Wise, but it is a lot of fun making up your own as you go.

Harley Ultra Classic

Sometimes making these wood art projects from photographs do not go quite as planned and there is often redesigning and additional planning needed, but this is where it gets interesting and fun.

Pictures to Art

If you are interested in ordering a custom piece from a photograph, simply use the “Contact Us” tab on our homepage http://www.cmobleydesigns.com to send us a message. All that is needed is a photograph and approximate dimensions and we will do the rest.

We are proud to announce that our Etsy shop is up and running. This allows us to accept major credit cards and etsy gift certificates. Please visit our newly updated “Intarsia Shop” tab on our homepage to view our updated inventory and purchase items.

We also have a contest drawing going on through Facebook. To enter into the drawing for this Rose intarsia piece you can

The Rose

1) Subscribe to our Blog at http://www.cmobleydesigns.com

2) Like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/chrismobleydesigns

3) Share our Facebook page with your friends

Your name can be in the drawing multiple times. We will hold the drawing as soon as we hit 200 Likes on our Facebook page.

Good Luck!

The Daughter of a Woodworker – My First Woodworking Experience

Written By: Bonnie Bartay

Some of my favorite memories as a young kid are spending time with my dad in his workshop. From a very young age, I remember playing in his shop while he worked. As an adult, I have helped my father with his construction business and now with Chris Mobley Designs. I do all of the paperwork part and even draw out plans but he does the real magic. I have never actually done any sort of woodworking myself though. After Chris wrote the article about Intarsia and Segmentation Woodworking for Beginners, I decided that I would like to give it a try. I could never hope to be half as good as my father is at this art, but it looks fun.

I took my time and did my research, but I went against my father’s advice, and made my own pattern for my first project. Of course, he was there to help me out, so I felt confident that if I got in over my head he would be there.

There are a few things that I learned from this project.

1) Woodworking is not as easy as my father makes it look. He makes cuts with the saw so effortlessly. This is not the case for me.

2) The scroll saw is not scary. Once I realized the mechanics of it and realized that it was unlikely that I would get hurt, I was much more at ease.

3) I must relax a bit more. The whole time I was cutting out the design, I was so tense that my shoulders are sore. Guiding the wood with your fingertips instead of your whole hand on the scroll saw helps with relaxing.

4) I absolutely love the smell of cedar wood when it is being cut. I have always been a big fan of cedar. In fact, I think it is my favorite wood. I like the look and the smell, but when it is being cut, it is just that much better.

5) Even though the design I picked out is fairly simplistic, a beginner’s pattern should be used for your first project.

It is not completely finished yet, but I have really enjoyed working on this project. I have learned a lot and I have spent some great time with my father. I do not think this will be my last woodworking project, but I think that I need to stick with the business aspect of Chris Mobley Designs and leave the real work up to my father.

We are proud to announce that our Etsy shop is up and running. This allows us to accept major credit cards and etsy gift certificates. Please visit our newly updated “Intarsia Shop” tab on our homepage to view our updated inventory and purchase items.

We also have a contest drawing going on through Facebook. To enter into the drawing for this Rose intarsia piece you can

The Rose

1) Subscribe to our Blog at http://www.cmobleydesigns.com

2) Like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/chrismobleydesigns

3) Share our Facebook page with your friends

Your name can be in the drawing multiple times. We will hold the drawing as soon as we hit 200 Likes on our Facebook page.

Good Luck!

An Unexpected Break from Woodworking

I had an unusual experience yesterday that is leading me to take an unexpected break from woodworking. Now, I only expect this break to last a few days, so no need to worry. The strangest things seem to happen to me, and my immediate family for that matter, that I could not resist telling the story.

Yesterday, I took my manual transmission work truck to get its state inspection done. Since I don’t drive it very often, I had been neglecting to get it done for quite some time. I took it to a local all-in-one shop that does tires, oil changes, inspections, etc. The gentleman doing my inspection was very nice. I pulled my truck into the parking lot and let him know what I was there for. He quickly jumped in my truck and had it in a bay to begin before I knew it. He immediately began doing an examination of the vehicle. I really liked the fact that I did not have to wait for service and I would be on my way shortly.

I stood in the doorway between the office and the bay that my truck was in watching the mechanic do his work. A lady with two young children were also they’re getting the tire fixed on her car. The woman was in the small office’s waiting area while her two children were playing in the parking lot right outside the doors. The mechanic went around to the driver’s side of the truck and checked that the parking brake worked and then released the parking brake and walked away.

A few seconds later, my truck began to roll since it was on an incline. It was headed in the direct path of where those two children were playing. My heart dropped and my father instincts kicked in. I yelled for the kids to move as I ran to the truck that was moving at a good speed. Either the children did not hear me or they didn’t understand what was going on because they didn’t budge from the spot they were occupying. I got to my door and flung it open. I managed to get one foot inside the vehicle and get to the brake just as the truck door slammed into the railing frame of the roll up bay doors on the shop.

My hand was crushed! I had been holding onto the truck door for stability while trying to get my foot inside. When the door of the truck collided with the door frame of the shop it pinned my hand there between them. I was in an awkward position. If I let my foot off the brake, it would increase the pressure on my hand, but I could not get my other foot inside the vehicle to push in the clutch so that the truck could be put into gear. This is when I became aware of my surroundings. The mechanic was in shock of what was going on and he was unsure of how to help me. He ran around the truck several times looking for ways to free my hand. I finally worked my other foot inside the vehicle. At this time, I have both feet inside and I was able to push the clutch in and get the vehicle into gear so that I could get free.

As soon as I was loose, another mechanic jumped in the truck and got it out-of-the-way as I assessed the damage of my hand. I have little feeling in the top of this hand from a prior injury that left me with the nickname “Slash”. I don’t know if this is a good thing or not. I knew my hand was bad, but because I don’t have complete feeling in it, I could not tell how badly I was injured.

The mechanic that was doing the inspection on my vehicle could not have apologized more. He ran across the street to a local pharmacy and got bandages and peroxide to clean the wound it left. He finished the inspection at no charge and even gave me a soda while I waited. Everyone kept urging me to call for an ambulance and go to the hospital, but I did not want to cause a fuss over just a few broken bones and a cut.

Then I had to tell the wife what happened! This was almost as scary as the event itself. She of course was extremely concerned and urged me to take a hospital visit. I calmed her and let her know that I was fine. As the evening went on, the swelling in my hand increased. This morning, now that all of the shock has worn off, I am swore and almost positive that my hand is fractured at the very least, but I cannot let that slow me down! I plan on taking a few days off to let the soreness where off and then I plan on being back in action! I am not quite sure why these odd incidents keep occurring to me, but at least it has left me with a good story!

We are proud to announce that our Etsy shop is up and running. This allows us to accept major credit cards and etsy gift certificates. Please visit our newly updated “Intarsia Shop” tab on our homepage to view our updated inventory and purchase items.

We also have a contest drawing going on through Facebook. To enter into the drawing for this Rose intarsia piece you can

Facebook Rose Drawing

1) Subscribe to our Blog at http://www.cmobleydesigns.com

2) Like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/chrismobleydesigns

3) Share our Facebook page with your friends

Your name can be in the drawing multiple times. We will hold the drawing as soon as we hit 200 Likes on our Facebook page.

Good Luck!

Announcement – Epona Celtic Knotwork Intarsia Woodworking

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We are excited to announce that our Epona Celtic Knotwork Design is a featured item on http://www.etsyspotlights.com
WE NEED YOUR VOTES!
Go to http://www.etsyspotlights.com and click on the tab at the top “In The Spotlight” and vote for our design!
Thank you all for your support!
-Chris Mobley
http://www.cmobleydesigns.com

PanHead Engine

After seeing some of my work, my boss approached me one day with a request for his father. His father’s birthday was quickly approaching and he wanted to do something special. I talked to him about his father’s interest and hobbies because I strive to do something special and that means something for each and every customer. I enjoy seeking out what a customers passions are and incorporating this into a custom design. I think it makes the piece special to each person. I learned that he owns a 1956 Panhead Harley Davidson, and his passion was working on and restoring this bike. I wanted to incorporate this into something for him. I thought for a while on what could be done. I called my daughter who does CAD work and asked her if she could draw up a design for this project. She drew the engine part so that I would have a template, but we could not decide on what else to add.

A few days later while looking over some prints of an eagle, it hit me. I decided to take the design of the engine and add wings to it and the Panhead Eagle design was born. This is one of the largest designs I have created and it is composed of hundreds of small pieces of wood. In the design, there are a few bolts holding the cover in place on the top and front of the engine. Instead of making these out of wood, I decided to actually use bolts. I did this by cutting the stem off of the bolt and just using the top. This adds a lot of character to the piece. This project is one of my favorite creations because of how detailed it is. I was very excited about completing this piece and handing it off to its new owner. The reactions I normally get from my customers seeing their piece for the first time really make what I do worth it. I was later told that this piece is hanging in his shop where he works on his bike. I am always looking for new things to do, and this one was defiantly a very rewarding challenge.

We are proud to announce that our Etsy shop is up and running. This allows us to accept major credit cards and etsy gift certificates. Please visit our newly updated “Intarsia Shop” tab on our homepage to view our updated inventory and purchase items.

We also have a contest drawing going on through Facebook. To enter into the drawing for this Rose intarsia piece you can

The Rose

Facebook Rose Drawing

1) Subscribe to our Blog at http://www.cmobleydesigns.com

2) Like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/chrismobleydesigns

3) Share our Facebook page with your friends

Your name can be in the drawing multiple times. We will hold the drawing as soon as we hit 200 Likes on our Facebook page.

Good Luck!

Home on the Hill – Intarsia Woodworking

Home on the Hill
Creating custom intarsia woodworking often finds its best design from a story. One stormy day in April, not very different from any other day, tragedy struck in Alabama. My father was out for the morning working as usual. He decided to come home early because there were some reports that bad weather was coming. He could not have gotten home at any better of a time. As he pulled into the driveway, he had just enough time to find his wife, grab a few neighbors, and get into the panic room inside his workshop. Now this room was only built for a few, however, he provided refuge for as many people who could fit including a neighborhood dog.

It only lasted a few moments, but when the chaos was over it was time to leave their shelter and survey the damage. What they saw when they emerged from this tiny room was unimaginable. My father’s home was one of the only still standing in the entire neighborhood. The home had extensive damage, but was still there. The neighbors on both sides lost most everything to the storm. Prior to the tornado, there was a tree farm located directly behind the neighborhood that was the home to some enormous and beautiful pine trees. These were all gone now; they were sucked right out of the ground and broken like toothpicks. The devastation was overwhelming. The search for family, friends, neighbors, loved ones, and pets had begun.

My father and his wife aided in this search and helped as many people as they could. People began to bring food and water for the survivors while rescue parties dug through the rubble of what was once a beautiful community. Even though there was no water, electricity, or telephones, my father and his wife decided to stay in what was left of their home to protect what they had left. Looters drove the streets of the neighborhood preying on those affected by this tragedy. The military sent soldiers in military vehicles to help prevent the looters from taking what they wanted, but it wasn’t enough. A week went by and there was still no electricity or water. The cleanup was well under way and people from all over had come to aid.

About a month after the storms, my wife, kids, and I went to visit. By this time, things had started to calm down and the healing process had begun. I can honestly say I was not ready for what I saw. Even after a month had passed and the sight was nowhere near as horrifying as it had been, I still could not wrap my head around the devastation. The stories that were told of those few days were unbelievable. We just drove around in awe of what had happened. The tornado that hit Alabama and many other states on April 25th through April 28th, 2011 have gone on record as some of the most deadly and costly tornado outbreaks in U.S. history.

After we returned home to Texas from our visit, I was going through old photographs and found one of my father’s home right after it was built. I decided to build him a custom intarsia woodworking picture of his home completely out of wood. I knew this gesture would mean a lot to him. This picture is composed of many very small pieces. This is one of my first true attempts at creating a 3D effect. The balcony and front porch stand out from the picture while the sides of the home are more sunken in. This gives depth to the image. As soon as I finished it, I got it packaged up and sent as quickly as I could. Just a day later I received a phone call from my father. He was overjoyed with what I had completed for him. It now hangs in his newly redone entry way. It has almost been two years since this storm outbreak, and my thoughts and prayers still go out to the victims.

We are proud to announce that our Etsy shop is up and running. This allows us to accept major credit cards and etsy gift certificates. Please visit our newly updated “Intarsia Shop” tab on our homepage to view our updated inventory and purchase items.

We also have a contest drawing going on through Facebook. To enter into the drawing for this Rose intarsia piece you can

Facebook Rose Drawing<

1) Subscribe to our Blog at http://www.cmobleydesigns.com

2) Like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/chrismobleydesigns

3) Share our Facebook page with your friends

Your name can be in the drawing multiple times. We will hold the drawing as soon as we hit 200 Likes on our Facebook page.

Good Luck!

http://www.cmobleydesigns.com

Intarsia and Segmentation Woodworking for Beginners

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I have often been asked how to get started in intarsia from people interested in this type of woodworking. I have thought long and hard about how to answer this question and I have come up with this Intarsia and Segmentation Woodworking for Beginners article with some tips and advice that I have for anyone interested in getting started with intarsia or segmentation woodworking. In the photograph examples that I will show, I am using a pattern by Kathy Wise called Clydesdale and Colt.

The first recommendation that I have for anyone interested in beginning this type of woodworking is… Do your research! Kathy Wise produced a book called “Intarsia Woodworking for Beginners” published by Scroll Saw. This is a wonderful book to help get you started. Intarsia and segmentation work is extremely rewarding, but involves attention to detail and is very time-consuming, so you will want to do your research first.

The next thing that you will want to do is find a pattern that you like. The key work here is “like”. Picking out a pattern that I really didn’t care for was my first mistake on my first intarsia piece. Why spend so much time and effort creating something that you don’t really care for? “Intarsia Woodworking for Beginners” by Kathy Wise has some beginner patterns in it to use or you can find and purchase patterns online. For your first piece, I do not recommend trying to come up with your own pattern. Your pattern should be selected before you decide on what woods to use.

Determining what wood to use is one of the most important things about doing intarsia woodworking. Each piece should be planned from what type of grain to what color wood to use. The more exotic woods can get very expensive, so not everyone has the luxury of getting very creative. In your very first piece, I would not recommend purchasing very expensive woods just in case you determine half way through your project that this is not really for you. If you choose to do segmentation piece instead of an intarsia piece, the type of wood really doesn’t matter since you will be painting or staining the wood anyways. Some good woods to start with is maple, cedar, pine, aspen, and walnut. These ae all beautiful woods that do not cost a fortune.

The next step is getting your pattern onto your wood so that you can cut out the pieces. I use carbon paper and draw out what I am going to do. This then transfers the image from my pattern to the wood itself. I do a few pieces at a time. This is the easiest way that I have found to cut your pieces accurately. Sometimes it can get a bit difficult to transfer to the wood piece when the pieces get really small, so this will require patience. Once you have everything drawn out, you can begin cutting.

In cutting out the wood, I use the band saw for large pieces and the scroll saw for small pieces. The scroll saw has proven to be excellent when working on the very intricate detailing. As you are cutting everything out, it is easy to lose your place and sometimes I find myself asking “Where does this piece go again?” I normally use a process of only cutting out a few pieces at a time and then assembling the design as I go by laying everything out on a table. This will help keep everything straight as you are cutting.

Once you have everything cut out, you can begin shaping each piece. To do this, I use a sanding wheel to round the edges of the and a drum sander attached to a Dremel tool to shape the wood. This is very time-consuming but is very important part of the process, because this is where you give a flat image shape. You get to determine how rounded you want the edges, where the peaks and valleys should be in the piece, etc. This is where you give your project life. Again, I only do a few pieces at a time and put them right back where I picked them up from so that the individual pieces do not get out-of-place or lost. I also suggest doing this on a solid and stable surface because when my son was very young, I was working on a motorcycle project that had approximately 200 pieces in it. He didn’t mean to, but he knock over the work space I had everything sat on while cutting everything out and I just ended up scrapping the project because it was just too difficult to find where every single little piece went.

After getting everything shaped up like you would like, it is time to put it all together. If you are planning on painting or staining the project, this is a good time to do it. You will want to paint not just the top of the piece, but it is a good idea to paint the sides of each piece before you assemble everything as well so that from the side view, everything is covered. To put everything together, you will need a backer. You can do this a few different ways. 1) you can have a thin piece of backer board cut to the shape of your project that you can glue everything to or 2) you can assemble your piece within a frame by creating a background and glueing the project against a back ground and then framing it. I normally make the decision on which to do depending on what type of project I am working on.

Then you will want to put a finish on the wood. This will help seal the wood and protect is as well as giving it a finished look.

You are finished! It takes a lot of time, effort, and patients to create on of these projects, so enjoy your finished result.

I did not go into great detail on a lot of the points in this article, but for more information and pictures, please visit my website at
http://www.cmobleydesigns.com

— Chris Mobley – http://www.cmobleydesigns.com