Snazzie Designz

Design, And Everything Design Related

Category : Other Crafts

Drogon Dragon Egg Box by Snazzie Designz

I made this dragon egg box myself out of clay. It was inspired by Drogon’s egg from the “Game of Thrones”. Unlike the TV replica which has scales which protrude which seems unlikely for an egg, I wanted to make mine more like the book description which is that it looked like red and black stone.

The stone that really inspired me is Eudialyte, a very rare crystal which apart from being spectacularly beautiful is exactly the colours I wanted for my egg. When I looked up further information about eudialyte it turns out that the rich cadmium colour in the stone is referred to by Russian dealers as “Dragon’s Blood” which seemed perfect for a dragon egg.

Also unlike the TV prop, this egg opens and the lid and base slot together so seamlessly that you can hold it by the lid and it will stick together.

Pine Grosbeak Holiday card Project 2018 by snazzie designz

Every year DeviantArt run a holiday card project where they get people from all around the world to make handmade cards which they then distribute over the holiday period to people hospital to brighten their spirits when they can’t be at home for the holidays.

Since it first started in 2004, the project has received nearly 28,000 cards sent in by thousands of deviants from over 60 different countries/political regions. This is my contribution for this year. #HolidayCardProject2018 #HolidayCardProject.

The card is made from card-backed sapele and maple wood with the pine grosbeak and tree branches pyrographed (burned into the wood). I added tints of colour to the bird, berries and snow.

The inside of the card is paper lined and I did up a printout design with a seasonal best wishes message on it.

Click here For more information about the project on DeviantArt

The pine grosbeak cover image which inspired this card was taken by gigi50 on dA.

This is a hand made wooden R.A.F. Eagle Squadron 71 Plaque with a 3D crest.

The base was designed and hand made by me out of sapele wood, and the crest itself is made of multiple cut pieces of various woods perfectly fitted and glued together

Handmade RAF Plaque by snazzie designz

Handmade RAF Plaque by snazzie designz

Since the Eagle Squadrons were for American crew serving in the R.A.F., the eagle’s wings and body are individually cut from American walnut from Seattle.

Handmade RAF Plaque by snazzie designz

For the keen eyed amongst you, you may notice that the crown on the crest is the King’s Crown rather than the Queen’s Crown since this has been made for an RAF veteran.

Handmade RAF Plaque by snazzie designz

All of the parts were individually cut with a fret/scroll saw including the wings, head body and claws of the eagle. The text on the motto scroll is burned into the wood. the text on the crest is hand painted in gold.

 

The beak & claws took extra precision cutting as they are each less than 1cm square in size and the talons are about 2mm.

Handmade RAF Plaque by snazzie designz

Handmade RAF Plaque by snazzie designz

Handmade RAF Plaque by snazzie designz

The first plaque base I made was made out of beech wood, and it looked quite nice, but it wasn’t dark enough to contrast with the basswood backing of the eagle on the crest, so I made a new one out of sapele instead.

Handmade RAF Plaque by snazzie designz

Handmade RAF Plaque by snazzie designz

Handmade RAF Plaque by snazzie designz

This is a completely one-off A5 Essential Oils journal case bound with hand marbled end papers, and with six oil blend recipe cards for quick reference.

Handmade Case Bound Essential Oils Book Journal by Snazzie Designz

Every page is fully illustrated and lined and the page edges have a decorative wave-cut edge to them.

Handmade Case Bound Essential Oils Book Journal by Snazzie Designz

Handmade Case Bound Essential Oils Book Journal by Snazzie Designz

Handmade Case Bound Essential Oils Book Recipe Cards by Snazzie Designz

Hand marbled end papers>

Handmade Case Bound Essential Oils Book Journal End paper by Snazzie Designz

Handmade Case Bound Essential Oils Book Journal Background by Snazzie Designz

Potion Bottle Design

Handmade Case Bound Essential Oils Book Journal Inside Page Design by Snazzie Designz

Handmade Yin-Yang Box

This is a wedding ring box of my own design inspired by the ancient Yin Yang symbol representing perfect harmonious balance between male and female, and it was handmade by me from start to finish.

Handmade Yin-Yang Box work In Progress

The main part of the box is made of solid oak.

The Yin wood was an off-cut piece of Ipé wood which is rock solid and almost impossible to cut or drill. It took a lot of very slow and patient cutting on my scroll saw to cut it out.

The Yang wood is pine and was much easier to work with, but I was not careful about placing the design on the wood the first time around and the grain of the wood was cutting across the very narrow tail end of the shape. It snapped off when I went to sand it. So I had to re-make the Yang piece this time I placed the shape over the wood so that the grain curves around the tail end of the piece (as circled above) making it nice and strong.

Handmade Frame by Aldwarke

This is a stunning hand made frame made by Harry from sapele wood (which glistens like copper in the light) with accents of a second unknown wood. The pyrograph is of a beautiful cottage covered in decorative shells with a wise old tree in the garden. I used mainly autumnal colours to match the frame.

Handmade Picture Frame With Farmhouse Pyrograph by Snazzie Designz

WellSnazzie Collaborations Logo by snazzie-designz

For a full list of all of the WellSnazzie Collaborations please click here.

To see more of Harry’s remarkable craft work check out his gallery on deviantart here.

Handmade Frame and Fan decorated with a Japanese Ukiyo-e Birds in the Plum Tree pattern

Hand made frame and fan pyrograph by snazzie designz

This beautiful handmade walnut and American oak frame and Baltic Pine fan were made by by Harry Wells.

Handmade walnut and American oak frame by Aldwarke

I had the very great pleasure of decorating the fan with a Japanese ukiyo-e inspired pyrograph (wood burning). The specific ukiyo-e is the Toshi Yoshida woodblock print “Spring”. “Hakubai ni Mau” translates as “Flying around the Plum Tree”.

I experimented on both sides of the fan. On the second side I experimented with distorting the outlines to match the fan folds to give it a more 3D look. I’m not sure if it succeeded entirely but was an interesting challenge nonetheless.

Handmade Framed Fan Pyrograph both side by snazzie designz

 

To see more of Harry’s remarkable craft work check out his gallery on deviantArt here.

 

WellSnazzie Collaborations Logo by snazzie-designz

For a full list of all of the WellSnazzie Collaborations please click here.

This is a handmade framed pyrograph (wood burning) of “The Lady of Shallott” based on the Alfred Lord Tennyson Poem (1842 Version Part IV).

The Lady of Shalott  Handmade Frame and Pyrograph Animated by snazzie designz

This stunning handmade frame is made by Aldwarke. Loosely inspired by Kit Williams pieces, Aldwarke took an idea and created something truly spectacular with it. The combination of American oak and meranti are such a complimentary pairing, and show off the Baltic pine background beautifully. Baltic pine is ideal for wood burning also, so that makes my job so much easier. The frame was made so seamlessly that the Baltic pine background sloted in snugly. This had great significance when it came to the woodburning, as any slippage would have resulted in misalignment and disaster. Details that people often overlook in such things are the finish and the surface. The frame arrived clean, and sanded so smoothly that it looked polished. Working with this type of piece makes my part so much easier.

Starting with a stunning frame hand made by :iconaldwarke: aldwarke my initial thoughts were Wow! It’s beautiful… please don’t let me mess it up! My second thought was that I needed to turn it upside down!

The Lady of Shalott  Handmade Frame and Pyrograph  by snazzie designz

The Lady of Shalott  Handmade Frame and Pyrograph Inside Panel by snazzie designz

The inside backing piece on it’s own. Made of Baltic pine it was a lovely surface to burn, and Adwarke’s precision in sizing it meant that it fitted snugly into the frame with no slipping, allowing me to align this with the extension of the picture onto the frame itself.

As soon as I saw the curve I knew I wanted to make that curved edge represent the edge of the boat, and have her hair and robes flow over the edge as described in the poem. How to achieve that was a new challenge. Meranti wood is a beautiful rich colour for the frame, but it would be too dark to represent the white robes described in the poem. I decided to give marquetry a go for the first time.

It was not an easy decision for me to try it, even after a reasonably successful test piece. I took it down and put it back on the shelf again for several months thinking about it. Even after months, I couldn’t see the frame in any other way than as part of the boat though, so in the end I just had to hope for the best, and to be very grateful for Aldwarke’s understanding and blind faith in me!

The Lady of Shalott Handmade Frame and Pyrograph Test Pieces by snazzie designz

The scrollwork, the lady’s gown and hair on the frame were all done with marquetry. I penciled onto maple veneer, burned, shaded and then cut out each piece individually. This was a tricky business with veneer having a tendency to split. I used masking tape on one side to reduce the likelihood of splitting.

Once cut out, I had to size and position the veneers very precisely on the frame. Unlike usual marquetry where the outside design is also veneer, I didn’t want to hide Aldwarke’s beautiful frame, so I had to carve directly into the frame itself, knowing that any slip ups were not going to be able to be undone, and the frame would be destroyed. Once in place, I traced around the cut out veneers, and then chiselled out a hole the exact size into which the veneer would slot. For the most part I got it right in the end I think. I just did the robes and hair freehand as they had to align precisely with the inner picture, and with the horizontal pieces.

I wasn’t sure what option I would go for for the boat’s prow so I did a few different ones to try them out. I opted for the swan design in the end, as I thought it was more reflective of the Lady of Shallot. The boat on the inner picture had to line up precisely with the frame or the whole thing would be a mess. Thankfully Aldwarke’s absolute precision came to the fore here, and his excellent skills meant that the backing fitted so snugly that it didn’t move at all. Such skill is to be envied.

The Lady of Shalott  Handmade Frame and Pyrograph  by snazzie designz

The Lady of Shalott  Handmade Frame and Pyrograph Bottom by snazzie designz

The Lady of Shalott  Handmade Frame and Pyrograph Vert-WM by snazzie-designz by snazzie designz

WellSnazzie Collaborations Logo by snazzie-designz

For a full list of all of the WellSnazzie Collaborations please click here.

Song of Wandering Aengus Triptych

Harry Wells (Aldwarke on deviantArt) and I have just completed our third and certainly most ambitious WellSnazzie collaboration to date. This is a unique handmade triptych inspired by the beautiful poem “The Song of Wandering Aengus” by William Butler Yeats. Harry Wells hand made the triptych and I did all of the pyrography (wood burning) to decorate it with the words of the poem in three verses along with imagery of each verse, one per panel.

Song of Wandering Aengus Triptych Panel 1

Song of Wandering Aengus Triptych Panel 2

Song of Wandering Aengus Triptych Panel 3

This document is an elaboration of the design process, work in progress, and the craft side of the triptych project. The collaboration pushed us both out of our comfort zones, and has required us to come up with innovative solutions that we haven’t tried before. Harry’s patience, encouragement and willingness to share his vast knowledge of woodworking were a great safety blanket in allowing me to try new things, and the chequered pattern on the frame edges, the combination of masking tape and masking fluid to prevent bleeding under the masking tape, and the use of ink applied in the style of a French Polish rubber to give a dappled grass effect, were just some of the many innovations that came out of the process.

The Design:

The idea began initially as a diptych of a mediaeval book, and evolved into a triptych of a Yeats poem. I am always intrigued by the design process, and how the final piece ends up in some ways dramatically changing from the original design, and yet maintains the core spirit of the original.  It all began with a very rough mock-up, and how it ended up as the final piece is somewhat a mystery to me despite working on the project. How a design develops and grows gradually over time due to an idea here from one person, and then an idea there from the other is a strange and wonderful process. The final piece scarcely resembles the original design, yet contains all of the elements within the initial design, transformed by mutual influence of its surroundings. The final piece also reflects both of our personalities.

Beginnings:

Once we had agreed on a theme, the project began with a rough mock up from Harry, which was fantastic in many ways as we could instantly see that we would need to pick appropriate dimensions, and size hinges correctly. The other major thing was that it was clear that the panels would have to be thick enough to be free standing, however most solid woods are not especially friendly to pyrography, so Harry came up with the innovative idea of sandwiching layers of smooth ply to the front and back of a hardwood core to allow for two perfect burning surfaces, with a strong core to allow the frame to stand upright, and hold the hinges.

Harry also came up with the idea of having the panels framed which added new levels of finesse to the project, and most wisely suggested that he send over the triptych in parts so that if I made a mistake on one section, we could just replace that part. There’s no “undo” in wood burning, so this took a lot of pressure off me during the burning process.

 

The Frame:

I decided to begin with the frames, the absolute precision and alignment of which made it much easier for me to measure out, align and burn the knotwork. Since the frames were made of sandwiched plywood and hardwood as described above, the plywood made neat little stripes along the edges, and I decided to make a feature out of them, so I burned a chequered pattern of tiny squares which took 3 weeks to do. (I tried several different patterns before choosing the chequered one in the end).

Some innovative ideas, beautiful as they were, didn’t make the final design such as Harry’s beautiful “Scalloped” edges which bring subtle stripes of colour within. We thought that they would be too much with the knotwork on the frame so we opted for plain edges. We’ll save the scalloped edges for another project though. That’s the beauty of good ideas… they carry through to the next projects.

Various knots were tried and tested for the frames before coming up with the final vine-style knotwork which allowed for individual fruits corresponding to each verse and also allowed for movement in the gluing process of the frame assembly at the mitre joints. The frames were tinted on an inner frame to give depth to the knotwork, and the knotwork was then burned on to individually match the verses. Since they were all in parts, I had to use a very strict labeling system to ensure that all four sides corresponded, and that the knotwork on the back of verse 01 was verse 03 knotwork.

Originally the branches of trees on the panels were single lines, and were going to be interlaced onto the knotwork of the frames so test designs for burning the tiny width of the inside frames I came up with some interesting ideas, that in the end turned out to be unnecessary due to a re-design of the trees.

 

 


 

The Panels:

I came up with a design based on the mock-up.  Each element within each panel went through several versions before a final design was chosen, and that in turn would affect other elements within the panel which would require adjustment to fit in style-wise. Then each element was individually tested on the generous supply of scrap pieces of wood kindly provided by Harry.

When it came to burning the panels, each element that had been individually designed then went through individual test burnings to ensure that the right look was achieved.

The “long dappled grass” test piece revealed that it would make more sense to burn the negative space between the blades, rather than the grass itself, and I drew a few strange looks whilst staring at the grass to contemplate the space between each blade, and how to represent it. This was my first time burning negative space.

Harry’s willingness to share his vast knowledge of woodwork was not only directly very helpful, but it also inspired some solutions indirectly. To get the dappled effect I modified a French Polishing technique he had taught me and used a rubber and some ink to get the effect of shadows and dapples in the grass. It doesn’t photograph particularly well as the effect is quite subtle.

This is the first project where I used ink on wood. I prefer ink to paint as it stains the wood, and you can still see the grain rather than some paints which mask the wood. Using ink on wood is difficult though as it bleeds. I had to run several tests with masking tape, frog tape (a more expensive masking tape that’s supposed to prevent seepage, but which had no discernible difference to me except being 8 times more expensive). The masking tests went terribly wrong!

As can be seen, ink bleeds disastrously under duct tape, and whilst sometimes leaving some pretty effects, it is not what I needed for this project. I needed to find a way of masking the ink completely. I saw a new product called Frog tape which is very expensive and is designed to prevent seepage under the tape, but it ended up being only marginally better than duct tape. The eventual solution was to mask it with tape, then cover the back with masking fluid.

From Paper To Panel:

Work in progress from paper design, to burn lines and shading, to final full colour full finished piece.

The Finishing Process:

People often underestimate the skill involved in the finishing process, and many of my earlier projects have been destroyed by using the wrong products to finish it, or using them incorrectly. Harry has vast experience of these techniques, and deftly and perfectly finished all of the pieces. The sign of a true master is someone who makes it look easy.Several test pieces were used to determine the best finish for the final piece. The finishing gets especially complicated when using colour on the pyrographs. Certain colour media (colouring pencils, ink etc.) clash with certain finishes, and if you use a combination of colour media it requires quite a bit of understanding of what sealants are required for each type. Fixative spray for example is perfectly fine on colouring pencils and ink, but makes Sharpies run and bleed. Water-based varnish makes ink bleed, makes colouring pencils go pale, but has no ill-effects on Sharpies.French polish and other finishing products such as varnish, they yellow the wood a bit when they dry, so that needs to be taken into account with the colours chosen. Any pale blues come out looking green if you chose the wrong shade.Each part of each panel had to be individually sealed separately with a very small brush to seal the colours, and then it was ready for French polish. My polishing is not up to scratch, and ends up looking streaky and uneven but fortunately Harry have the experience to do several thin layers that build up to a beautiful smooth, gleaming and strong finish.

Final Assembly:

Finally it was ready for assembly. Harry had chosen the perfect hinges to match the chequered pattern on the frame edges, and it took the two of us to balance the piece and accurately mount the hinges.

When it was complete we both just stared at it from all angles for about fifteen minutes with a sense of disbelief. The piece suddenly made sense all unified into completeness, and has become more than the sum of its parts.

I’m looking forward to the next WellSnazzie collaboration with eagerness.

 

For more information on the collaborative process for this project click here:


 

Please click here for details of our Triptych collaboration process.

WellSnazzie Collaborations Logo by snazzie-designz

For a full list of all of the WellSnazzie Collaborations please click here.

Save

WellSnazzie Collaborations Logo by snazzie-designz

In 2014 Harry Wells (known as Aldwarke on deviantArt) and I completed our third and certainly most ambitious WellSnazzie collaboration to date.

For a full list of all of the WellSnazzie Collaborations please click here.

The idea started off initially as a diptych, and evolved into a triptych based on the W.B. Yeats poem “The Song Of Wandering Aengus”. A triptych is a work of art (usually a panel paintings) that is divided into three sections respectively, which are hinged together and can be folded shut or displayed open.

The project went on continuously for three to four months, with the aim of having it completed in time for the Winterton Agricultural Show on 5th/6th July 2014.  We just got it finished the day before the show, and were delighted to find that it had won first place in the “Miscellaneous Crafts” category.

Here’s an account of Harry’s experience of the collaboration process:

International Collaboration on Deviant Art

Earlier this year I shared a wonderful collaborative experience with DA member Snazzie-Designz (from here on referred to as Snazzie). Together we made a wooden box to contain runes made by Snazzie.  I  made the basic box which was then decorated by Snazzie to show my name in the Runic script together with my birth sign.

We originally ‘met’ through the pages of Deviant Art and continued much of the design correspondence through this channel and later by email. At times it was necessary to send parts backwards and forwards, Ireland to England. Thanks to DA a wonderful partnership developed. Flushed by this success we decided to do a more ambitious project which Snazzie has submitted to DA.

http://aldwarke.deviantart.com/journal/Collaboration-Reflections-442697462

We came up with what we considered to be the ultimate in international collaboration, Snazzie is Irish living in Ireland. I am half Irish/English living in England, so who better to commemorate in our triptych than W.B. Yeats, the Anglo-Irish poet. We chose his mystical poem ‘Song of the Wandering Aengus’.

We co-operated on the triptych for over three months by email and parcel post as various bits and pieces again went back on forth. At one time I began to think that the piece spent more time on the Irish Sea than on land. Eventually it was necessary for Snazzie to come and stay with me for a week in order to get it into shape.

I don’t like deadlines but I was vain enough to want to enter it into a big craft show in England. We finished it in my workshop the night before the show. It was an inspiring though perhaps tiring process at times but from it I learned a great deal from Snazzie about design, patience and personal application to a task.

It was part of my pleasure to see Snazzie working under guidance, with feminine panache, on woodworking machines. Working on a pencil box for herself she used the router table, saw table, planer and had an interesting experience with a Japanese pull-saw – not the slightest sign of blood either.

—– End of Harry’s Commentary —–

 

The triptych frame was designed, and hand-made by Harry, including coming up with the innovative idea of sandwiching layers of smooth plywood to a hardwood core to allow for two perfect burning surfaces, front and back, with a strong core to allow the frame to stand upright. When the triptych frame arrived over the Irish Sea to me it was in a self-assembly kit form, and I was astounded at the absolute precision, and alignment of the frames, and the perfectly smooth and clean surfaces I was given to work with. I knew I had my work cut out for me to keep my end of the bargain up.

All of the parts were burned separately. The outside edges of the frames have a hand-burned chequered pattern which took 3 weeks to do. The link between each of the verses is blossoms and fruits of trees, so each frame has similar knotwork, but with fruit corresponding to the verse. The panels themselves contain original artwork corresponding to the verses.

When the pieces were burned and ready for finishing and assembly I was delighted to have the opportunity to visit Harry the week before the show, and it was even more of a delight to work with him in person than it has been to collaborate over emails. I am eternally grateful for having been made to feel so welcome by both Harry and Pam (a prodigious artisan herself) who opened their home wholeheartedly to this unknown stranger, so much so that I felt right at home there.

People often underestimate the skill involved in the finishing process, and many of my earlier projects have been destroyed by using the wrong products to finish it, or using them incorrectly. Harry has vast experience of these techniques, and deftly and perfectly finished all of the pieces. The sign of a true master is someone who makes it look easy.

Finally it was ready for assembly. Harry had chosen the perfect hinges to match the chequered pattern on the frame edges, and it took the two of us to balance the piece and accurately mount the hinges. When it was complete we both just stared at it from all angles for about fifteen minutes with a sense of disbelief. The piece suddenly made sense, all unified into completeness, and has now become more than the sum of its parts.

In the days after the show, we had some time to spare, so Harry was kind enough to show me how to make my very own box; a first for me. There were quite a few “firsts” for me in that process; the first time using a router, the first time using a band saw, the first time using a plane, the first time using a circular bladed table saw to name but a few. All of these machines seemed fairly daunting monstrosities, but with Harry’s excellent guidance, encouragement and blind faith, I managed to use them and even started to get the hang of one or two of them by the end of the day. There wasn’t even one instance of him cowering in a corner in terror whilst watching this newbie work with his valued machinery, which I thought showed true grit! I now have a beautiful pencil box as an eternal keepsake of this wonderful journey, and look forward to the next WellSnazzie collaboration with excitement.

If you want more information on HOW THIS WAS MADE seeing work in progress pictures, and sample pieces the burning and construction process,that didn’t make it to the final piece, click here.

Song of Wandering Aengus Triptych Test Pieces snazzie designz

WellSnazzie Collaborations Logo by snazzie-designz

For a full list of all of the WellSnazzie Collaborations please click here.

Save