I will start off with an apology for the picture of myself, but I had to work with the subject matter that I was given. I do have a better picture, but it was taken about 45 years ago, and if I used it that may constitute a fraudulent action so I will use a more up to date one.
I force myself to get out of bed each and every day, before the crack of NOON. I then stay up most of the night, into the wee hours of the morning. This is when I do most of my artwork.
I do many different subjects, and just do things that I like the look of. I have been doing vintage vehicles recently, mainly because I like them much better than the newer vehicles that all look alike. I also do custom commission pieces for clients, mostly animals and vehicles.
I use many different species of wood from around the world, and have included a picture of a few of the kinds of wood that I use. I also use many more species of wood, too long to show or list.
The different woods are used mostly for colour and texture. There are some colours that are not available in natural wood, and in these cases I use a white wood, such as Aspen or Basswood, and dye it with fabric dye. I also use a silver acrylic paint for the chrome parts of vehicles.
Whether I am using a pattern that I drew myself, or one that I purchased, the process is the same. I glue the paper pattern to a piece of 1/8” thick Baltic Birch plywood, (Russian Plywood) I then cut the pattern with a very fine scroll saw blade so that there is very little wood removed, and it does not have large spaces between the pieces. This is then mounted on a piece of ¼” thick plywood and can be used over and over again. The markings on the pattern are to show grain direction, thickness, colour etc. If I drew the pattern myself, I seldom put these markings on, as I do not require them. If someone other than myself were to use the pattern, they may require the markings on the pattern.
To make a piece of art, I first select the wood that I will use. I then remove pieces of the pattern, one piece at a time, and trace it onto the chosen piece of wood. This is then cut out with the scroll saw and sometimes needs a bit of sanding and shaping to make it fit into where the piece of plywood pattern came out. I need to do this sanding and fitting much less frequently as my experience gets to be greater and greater.
Once all of the pieces are cut, some of them need to be raised up, and some need to be lowered to get the 3-D look that I want. Lowering is achieved by cutting the desired amount off the top. To raise a piece, I glue it to a piece of wood of the proper thickness, and then trim it with the scroll saw. I have included a picture of a piece of the bumper of the corvette, it is glued to a piece of ¼” wood to raise it up.
I have included a picture of the pattern with 7 pieces of wood, cut and placed into the wooden pattern. When I have cut 73 more pieces, all 80 pieces of this Corvette will be cut, and I can then move on to the next step, which is to shape each piece. This is mostly done with an oscillating drum sander, however I do use many other tools, such as knives, saws chisels etc. If I am doing an animal, I often use a rotating wire brush to etch the wood, to get a hair or fur effect.
All that is left is to glue it all together, and glue it to a piece of Baltic Birch Plywood backing. I make the backing larger than the piece, and trim it after all the glue has cured. I now print information on the back, and apply several coats of clear, water based urethane on both sides. I have included two pictures of the finished vehicle, one is red and made mostly of Bloodwood, the other is yellow and is mostly Pau Amarillo (yellow heart) I hope that this article has been informative, and of interest to some people.
Bill Dopson A.K A. Woodworker Willie
Last week I shipped a piece to a client that found me through my web site. She had not seen any of my work, except for pictures on the web site. I received this “E” mail from her after she received the piece in the mail. This shows that the work needs to be seen in person to be fully appreciated, so please drop in to the Fenelon Falls Station Gallery and check it out.
The feathers are BEAUTIFUL! My mother breeds Budgies and Lineolated Parakeets. She has a “bird room” in our home, so I got her the feathers to help decorate the room. I know she’ll be thrilled.
They are much more detailed than your website photo was able to show, PERFECT.