Friday, July 30, 2010

White Trash Artwork!*

I went to Lowes last week to buy a pint of paint for a bike project (future post). While there I have to check the discounted tool section, of course. And this is what I found:

Well, that is a savings that just can't be ignored, and shit, it's the last one! So what was going to be a $10 day at Lowes turned into a $100 day.

Now, I have no pressing reason to own this, but I figure it will prove useful in the future. But just because I don't need to use a tool doesn't mean that I don't need to use a tool. So I began looking for a project to play around with. After some quick Googling I came across this page:

One of the images popped out at me, it was of Waylon Jennings. A buddy of mine just had a son, and he named him Waylon Edgar, after Jennings and Poe. While a woodcut of Edgar Allan Poe would be classy, it wouldn't be nearly as sweet as a Waylon Jennings, so the decision was made. While I was at it, I decided to make a Hank Williams Jr cut for another friend.

I didn't start taking pics till I was half way through the Jennings woodcut, but the process is pretty simple. I started off by printing out the high contrast image, and spray gluing it to a piece of scrap plywood.

To get started, I would drill a small hole, then feed the blade through it and start cutting. I would like to point out that I have never before used a scroll saw, and this didn't come with a manual, and I couldn't have been bothered to look up any sort of tutorial or manual online, so there was definitely some trial and error. Overall it went smoothly and I am greatly impressed with this tool.

Doing the facial hair was a time consuming process, but since I was enjoying learning to use a new tool, it was pretty enjoyable. It took well over an hour to get to this point.

Due to some of the links being small, the cutouts were a little fragile. I am proud to say that I didn't break any while I was working on them, but I definitely didn't think they would last too long as they were, so I decided to mount them on another piece of plywood. One nice side benefit of this, I stained the back layer dark, and it really highlights the image. The Waylon cut was done before the Williams one, so I was still pretty green when I was working on it, and it shows in the letters. Although I think that the rougher character is fitting of the subject. Then again, maybe I am just rationalizing.

I decided to carry the rough look over into the frame, so I yanked an old piece of scrap down from the rafters and riped it into strips. I made a small rabbit style joint at each corner by eye on the scroll saw. They don't meet up perfectly, but they weren't exactly expected to. Everything is held together with glue and brads. Then I gave them a couple layers of Polyurethane.

In my humble opinion, these could be sold at any of the finer flea markets, and displayed in any of the more prestigious trailer parks in this great land of ours.

As far as learning the scroll saw, I would say these were worth making, but for me to truly consider these a success I will need my buddies to insist that they be allowed to display them in their homes. That should make both their wives very happy.

*I would like to clarify that I am not referring to the venerable pursuit of creating art with the scroll saw as a white trash hobby, I am just saying that hastily assembling a couple of drunken country stars on scrap plywood for distribution amongst drinking buddies could be construed as low-class.


  1. I think that it's so funny that this is the first project that you decided to do with your scroll saw. The scroll saw is the only power tool in the basement that I actually know how to use! But crazy me, I only made a wooden stacking rainbow and a wooden penguin toy (like those super-expensive Holztiger ones).

  2. Nice! Thanks for turning me on to your scroll saw cuts. Good luck with the paper portrait!