Hi gang, I'm Lora Irish and I wanted to say Hello and introduce myself. First, thank you Roy, Bill, and Darren for the great welcome and for directing me here.
I have three loves that all are connected to woodworking ... well, really four!
The first and most important to me, is my beloved hubby, Michael, who has put up with nearly three decades of wood chips all over the rugs, boxes of carving knives that I tend to collect, and closets full of carving and pyro projects. He taught me much of what I know about wood working and indulged me (thoroughly pampered me) in my passion for carving. Over the years he has even gone so far as to allow ... (not the right word) ... suffered through ... (not quite) ... tolerated ... (ahh, that's not it either) ... endured ... (that's the one!) ... my taking over his woodworking shop, power tools, and even using his antique planes as I tried my hand at furniture wood crafting.
Where in the beginning of our marriage I would have told him, "Wait till the end of my (knitting) row!" to answer his questions, he now just snickers when its, "Wait till I get this bench knife stop cut done!".
My third wood passion is carving, in particular relief carving but I also love wood spirits, cane toppers, and, of all things, folk art fish decoys. That hobby works so wonderfully with my forth wood passion which is pyrography. My formal education was in the fine arts of oil and acrylic realism painting, and pyro lets me bring those artist skills to my wood in detailed sepia burns.
But my second great passion, the one that comes right after my beloved hubby, is my joy of teaching our crafts. The greatest delight I get, even after all these years, is seeing someone post their first carving - rough, rugged, crude, square, and barely recognizable project, Those early carvings just bring a smile to my face because I know the years of fun ahead of them.
I don't get a chance to do fine woodworking any more, so I will be hanging out on the carving threads here. There is just not time in our busy schedule, nor can I devote the days of solitary work in the workshop that I once could. But I did recently grab a chance to do some good old-fashioned wood butchering. I had picked up some free pallets at a local store to use as flower garden retaining walls. Then at a yard sale came across an old, small bookshelf. That Sunday morning, as I passed the bookshelf, still on the back porch, this thought struck me from out of nowhere. That bookshelf would make an instant carcass for a simple dresser.
I grabbed Mike's reciprocating saw, the jig saw, the battery-powered drill, and our portable work bench and brought them up to the porch. By mid-morning I had the pallets apart and was working on creating simple butt-joint drawers. By early afternoon the whole family was in on the project with ideas and suggestions. Mom thought of the antique glass drawer pulls from my Dad's woodworking days, and Mike came up with the bathroom mirror idea. The walnut top came form an old table leaf that I had intended to carve one day. My son suggested the iron brackets that use to hold hanging flower pots on the back porch.
By dinner time I was done! It's crude, it's rough, it's rugged ... I had an absolute blast making it, and so did the rest of the family. It is nothing compared with what you are sharing here, but when I pass it where it now sits in my back hallway it makes me smile! So, I thought I would share it here as part of my Hello. Maybe you will get a grin out of it too.
And, I will share the Mountain Man Talking Stick I am just finishing.
Thanks! - Lora