Snazzie Designz

Design, And Everything Design Related

Category : WellSnazzie Collaboration

Chequering Toolbox with Dragon Pyrograph Decoration.

Chequering Tool Box

I bought some chequering tools which came in an awful cardboard box which looked awful. So Aldwarke very kindly and most expertly made me a wooden tool box for them. As you can see below it took some precision measurements and cutting to get the hollows the exact size for the tools.

Chequering Tool Box Chequering Tool Box

Chequering Tool Box

Chequering Tool Box

Chequering Tool Box Chequering Tool Box

So when I got hold of this beautiful box I obviously wanted to decorate it with something that would do justice to the wonderful craftsmanship that went into the box itself.

Chequering Tool Box

Initially I had planned to decorate the box with hand cut and carved swamp dragons based on the marvellous Paul Kidby illustrations of swamp dragons for the Terry Pratchett Discworld series. However they were too bright and orange to match the more golden wood finish of the box so I cancelled that idea and tried some hand cut and burned traditional Chinese twin dragons

Chequering Tool Box

The Chinese twin dragons were too small and detailed to work well on the box lid. so I decided to cancel that idea too and instead go for one bigger Chinese dragon in gold which would match the colour of the golden wood finish on the box.

Chequering Tool Box

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.

Aslan Pyrograph

Aslan Box Pyrograph

I was very lucky to get my hands on this beautiful handmade box by Harry Wells. The edges of the lid are hand scalloped with a chisel to reveal a beautiful striped pattern from the ply layers. It reminded me of bite marks, which inspired me to use a lion for the lid decoration.

I’ve always loved the poster for “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” film and I thought it would be perfect for the lid. Also the scalloped edges look like rays of light coming out of Aslan so they seem doubly fitting.

This was also my first time experimenting with blending bottled inks on wood. If the blending is done properly the ink allows for seamless blending as you can see with the background which goes from dark navy, to blue to aquamarine to amber. Unlike paint which masks the wood, hides the grain and hides the burn lines, ink soaks into the wood, enhances the grain and allows the burned shading to come through.

The lid with the wood burning done, before the colour was added.

 

Aslan Pyrography Monochrome

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.

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Fishing Box Woodburning Pyrograph

This handmade fishing box is a WellSnazzie Collaboration between myself and Harry Wells. Harry made the box and I decorated the lid.

Fishing Box Woodburning Pyrograph

This is a stunningly beautiful fishing box hand made by Harry from American white oak with meranti accents, and a Baltic pine lid suitable for pyrography. I was blown away by the beauty of this box and the masterful way in which it was made.

Fishing Box Woodburning Pyrograph

It was my job to try and match that beauty by decorating the top with an image of a father and son fishing at their favourite lake which they fished at together for decades. I was asked to include a pike on the box in some way so I included a pike leaping out of the water as part of the border.

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 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.

This is a one off hand made Coptic bound book inspired by the wonderful haiku collection of Harry Wells (Aldwarke).

The front cover is bamboo with 5 different veneers, and pyrographed outlines. The back cover has the Kanji for “Haiku” 俳句 pyrographed onto a marquetry cover. I’m not sure what the central veneer is but it is pearlescent and glimmers in the light. On the inside pages there is a collection of Aldwarke’s haiku and short poems that I illustrated. I’ve done up an animation simulating the book opening so that you can see the pages illustrated.

Handmade Coptic Bound Haiku Book by Snazzie Designz

INTERACTIVE – CLICK TO TURN THE PAGES

Handmade Coptic Bound Haiku Book by Snazzie Designz

Handmade Coptic Bound Haiku Book by snazzie Designz

Handmade Coptic Bound Haiku Book by Snazzie Designz

You can flip through the book here if you like, or to read this beautiful collection of haiku story in full and more of Harry’s wonderful writings please check out his blog “Aldwarke’s Anthology” here.

Handmade Coptic Bound Haiku Book 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 incredible chisel box was made by Harry and I had the very great pleasure of decorating it with Japanese inspired imagery.

The chisels are marvellous Kirshcen brand chisels. Kirschen means “cherries” in German, so I decided to do a cherry blossom themed box to match. The cherry blossom designs are inspired by Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints.

Handmade chisel Box With Cherry Blossom Pyrograph by snazzie designz

Handmade chisel Box With Cherry Blossom Pyrograph by snazzie designz

Handmade chisel Box With Cherry Blossom Pyrograph by snazzie designz

Handmade chisel Box With Cherry Blossom Pyrograph by snazzie designz

I continued the Japanese theme on the underside with a Japanese dragon.

Handmade chisel Box With Cherry Blossom 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.

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.

The Covenant Pyrograph/Carving Top by snazzie-designz

Harry Wells (Aldwarke) and I have collaborated on a number of projects now and usually my talented collaborator makes marvelous wooden pieces (frames, boxes etc) and I have the great joy of decorating them with pyrography (wood burning).

This collaboration was slightly different. What many people may not realise is that not only is Aldwarke a master craftsman, but is also a beautiful writer and has an anthology of delightful and insightful stories and poems. It was within this literary treasure trove that I discovered “The Covenant”. This story was so inspirational to me, that I knew straight away that this was the perfect story to decorate this magical piece of wood.

Do yourself a favour and read this beautiful story in full Aldwarke’s Anthology blog and you too will understand how fitting the story and the wood are to each other.

The Covenant Pyrograph and Carving by snazzie-designz

 

The Covenant Pyrograph and Carving Zoom 01 by snazzie designz

The Covenant Pyrograph and Carving Zoom 03 by snazzie designz

 

It all began with a magical slice of pine wood, from a fallen pine tree in the sacred site of Monasterboice, Ireland. The wooden slice measures 1.6 x 0.5 meters / 5’3” x 1’7” . After 2 years of looking at it sitting in my kitchen waiting for just the right piece of inspiration to do justice to this very special slice of wood, it finally hit me.

There were a number of new challenges for me on this project. This immense slice of wood is by far the biggest single piece of wood I’ve ever worked with, and I didn’t have a workbench big enough to accommodate it, so I had to make a temporary stand of sorts for it.

The Covenant Pyrograph and Carving Blank Wood by snazzie designz

It took a HUGE amount of work to sand it all down level and smooth on both sides using an angle grinder first, then a belt sander and then hand sanding to finish.

My sander just wasn’t up to scratch for this, and would have taken about 2 weeks to sand it properly, so I rented a belt sander. The guy in the shop said “It’ll do a jig on ya” and I learned pretty quickly what he meant by that! However, the belt sander was fantastic, and the entire surface was smoothed to a satin surface within 2 hours.

There was a substantial crack on the front, which I had to fill in and match the changing colour of the wood, which I hopefully achieved. It looks a lot less obvious now than it did anyway. There was mould on the back which I had to clean up, and eliminate before reinforcing the back and strengthening the waney edges so that they didn’t chip. Thanks to Aldwarke for letting me know that the bark edges are actually called waney edges. He almost makes me sound like I know what I’m talking about!

The Covenant Pyrograph/Carving Work In progress by snazzie-designz

This was also my very first attempt at carving a bas relief, and also my first attempt at a combination of carving and pyrography. I learned quite a few things along the way.

The Covenant Pyrograph/Carving Work In Progress by snazzie-designz

Lesson No.1: Chisels are very, very sharp so keep both hands on them at all times unless you want razor cuts on your finger tips. I found that the habit of brushing away the carving dust was what caused the most injuries, when I’d accidentally catch the edge of the chisel. I also ended up making myself finger knuckle protectors from cotton wool and masking tape to prevent my knuckles catching sharp edges on the wood.

Lesson No.2: Carve and sand FIRST and then burn the design afterwards otherwise you end up having to re-burn everything.

The Covenant Pyrograph/Carving Text Work In Progress by snazzie-designz

The entire story was painstakingly burned into the wood.

Burning the text took over a week. With smaller pieces you can easily rotate the piece as you burn to get the right angle with the burning tip, but with such a big piece I had to move around it.

 

The Covenant Pyro - Luis the Rowan Tree Guardian by snazzie-designz

The trees were hand carved to give them texture and depth giving a subtle 3D effect which the photos just don’t capture sufficiently. I couldn’t stop running my hands across the surface. The carving is only subtle because this piece was intended to be a bench that would sit at the end of a garden by a rowan tree fitting in completely with the story.

The Covenant Pyrograph/Carving Zoom 05 by snazzie-designz

The artwork is all my own original design inspired by the story (though the couple were inspired by some royalty free clip art). The sun is on one side, and the moon on the other, and the leaves of the rowan tree range from autumnal oranges and yellows to summer and spring greens to try and encapsulate the timelessness of the story.

 

The Covenant Pyrograph/Carving Text Zoom by snazzie-designz

The text “shoot” has a little shoot of a rowan tree growing out of it.

 

The Covenant Pyrograph/Carving Apple Tree Spirit by snazzie-designz

I especially like that the apple tree spirit was not purposefully drawn in by me, but appeared of his own accord. 

 

The Covenant Pyrograph/Carving Zoom 02 by snazzie-designz

The Song of Wandering Aengus Triptych

Triptych Panel 03  The Golden Apples by snazzie-designz

The couple in the tree is an homage to our previous Triptych collaboration which you can read about here.

The Covenant Pyrograph/Carving Ogham by snazzie-designz

The symbols on the top left are the ogham symbols of the four trees (the hazel, rowan and apple trees in the story, and the pine tree of the wood itself) to honour the spirit of the trees.

The Covenant Pyrograph/Carving by snazzie-designz

The line “You must address yourself to the material in a loving frame of mind.” especially struck a chord with me, and shows the wisdom of a master craftsman coming through in the writing.  All crafts people appreciate the spirit of the materials with which they are working, and it is in the spirit of addressing oneself to the material in a loving frame of mind that this piece was carved, and pyrographed .

Originally the quote “You must address yourself to the material in a loving frame of mind.” Was text only, but I found that it was too plain looking, so I added some scrollwork to balance it out a bit.

The Covenant Pyrograph/Carving Zoom 04 by snazzie-designz

The Covenant Pyrograph/Carving by snazzie-designz

I hope that this carving/pyrograph has done justice to Aldwarke’s truly beautiful story. I hope that it will become a physical manifestation of the protective spirit of Luis that can be passed down as the “great wheel” continues to turn, so
that the timeless joy of “The Covenant” can be enjoyed for generations to come.

 

WellSnazzie Collaborations Logo by snazzie-designz

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

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These handmade boxes were the very beginning of what has now become a long list of continuing collaborations between myself and Harry Wells collectively known as WellSnazzie collaborations.

The Rune Box

Celtic Owl and Rune Set

It all started with me making a set of runes for Harry. He decided that he wanted to make a box for them and asked if I would burn a Celtic owl onto some Baltic pine for him so that he could inset it into the box lid.

Celtic Owl and Rune Set

This was one of my very fist wood burning projects and everything was very rough around the edges compared to the impeccable and stunning work that Harry did on the box itself. The dark streaks in the beech wood are naturally occurring beech spalting caused by a fungus growing in the wood.

Rune Box Handmade by Aldwarke

Rune Box Handmade by Aldwarke

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

 


 

The Swan Jewellery Box

Swan Inlay For Jewellery Box

This is a personalised swan design burned into the bottom of one of the box drawers in this incredible jewellery box that harry made.

Swan Jewellery Box Handmade by Aldwarke

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

Jewellery box Handmade by Aldwarke

WellSnazzie Collaborations Logo by snazzie-designz

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