swiss wood art home decor

Swiss Inspired Wood Art

Time waster.

That’s what I call those things that I mess around with because I’m avoiding something else like:  other projects, calling my insurance company, or organizing iphoto.

Put simply, I just have to remove myself from my current direction, and waste time.

Most of the time that means going out to my shop to start cutting wood scraps into smaller wood scraps for no reason.

I’m telling you this because this art piece started as a time waster and I feel that I should disclose that.  I had no idea what I was doing, or what I was going to do with these scraps.  I was aimless, and without a plan.

Basically, I think these pieces were some kind of chunky moulding or something… I’m not sure.  (Salvaged from a local wood shop “throw out” pile.)  I was interested in the shape the cross section would make.

hand rail wood scrap stairs

**Note:  I don’t expect this type of scrap to be at everyone’s fingertips, I’m just hoping my experience with odd shaped scraps will help someone out there who might have odd shaped scraps as well.

On good days, I remember things aren’t one dimensional.

end grain rail wood scrap

And, in case anyone wondered about measurements of these two pieces of scrap…

measurements wood

Keeping along with the time wasting, I did this a lot of times:

miter saw wood cut scraps

…and played around like this:

wood pattern

(I ended cutting up that second strip you see above, so basically, I cut up all of the two strips that I started with.)  (Let me know if that didn’t make sense.  I feel like I’m making this more complicated than it is…)  (and I’m using too many parentheses. Sorry.)

Moving on, I ended up going with this pattern, and I laid it out to see how big it would be.

wood cross section cut pattern

Next, I found a 1/8 in sheet of plywood that would work to mount the pieces on.

wood scraps art

Since I had all day to wander out to my shop at random times, I glued with Gorilla Glue wood glue, and clamped like so:

glue and clamp wood gorilla glue

(I hope that’s paint on my left toe..)

At the end of the day, it was all glued and dried.  The next step was making a box frame for it using my Kreg Jig.

(For instructions on how I make a box frame for my art, see here.)

frame wood art

Once I completed the frame, I hesitated painting it.  I really liked seeing the end grain and didn’t want to covered it so…. I covered it.  With paint.  (There is no going back once you paint end grain.)

This is the best way to describe what a fiasco the painting process was:

painting wood art

I’m going to take this moment to officially promise to never work with white and red paint in such a reckless manner.

For some reason, when I layered red over white, it wanted to distress pink… but the white over red, didn’t.  Grrr.  In other words, respect the red/white/pink relationship.

I ended up messing around with this way too much.

Taking paint out of an end grain can’t be easily done.  The paint really soaks in.  If I had an electric planer, I would have tried just shaving off the entire surface, but to improvise, I always turn to the belt sander.  It’s my “oh crap” back up when things turn into a hot mess.  So basically, I painted and re-painted it a million times.

When I finally decided that I had wasted enough time, I had to just stop.

I had to stop, and back away slowly…

swiss inspired wood art


This is how it ended up:

DIY Swiss Inspired Scrap Wood Art

Swiss Inspired Wood Art

The wood art measurements came to rest at 18 x 34 in.

So the moral to this story is:  Try looking at things on a different plane, from a different angle.

Also, look at the end grain, and if you don’t like your paint job, paint it again, and again, and again…


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