Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Always something to Learn

As the progress continues on the picture frame I've learned a couple of things.  One that's not so new is that working with the grain of the wood is crucial and the experience I'm having with this Walnut has taught me I better check the grain of anything I want to carve before I put it together!  This piece has some wild grain which changes direction a lot, even within the short 12" or so of molding.  File that one away in my memory and hope I retrieve it before I do the next frame.
The other thing occurred by accident.  To help me see better when I carve I bought a really nice light from Lamps Plus.  It's an LED and gives out a pretty intense light and the color hue can actually be adjusted.  I was ready to take a break but forgot to turn off this light at the carving.  When I turned off the main light I saw I forgot so went to shut it off.  That's when I noticed how the shadows and grain on the frame were much more distinct with the LED light only. Let me illustrate with these pictures:

 Notice how distinct the grain of the wood shows up when the main light was turned off? Every little facet shows, see what I mean about the grain being pretty wild in the center?  This will be a good challenge and learning (hopefully) experience.

Main Light Off

Compare that to how it looks with the main lights on, it's more washed out even though the carve looks better.  For sure, when the piece is oiled every little facet will show so like it or not, carving with the main lights out will give me a better indication of how the frame will look finished.

Main Light On

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