Friday, May 23, 2008

Say Ah-h-h!

Ron Cook Studios has been pretty active lately. A few weeks ago, I got a call-for-entries notice from the San Francisco Museum of Craft + Design. The subject: "Birds + Their Dwellings."

Almost immediately, my mind started thinking about a type of birdhouse. It would have a hand-carved face, sort of a green man or wood spirit face, but with an open mouth for the birds to enter through. Then I though it would be great to have a long tongue sticking out for birds to perch on.

I'm given quite a bit of urban orchard wood, as well as salvaged woods from old furniture and demolished buildings. Usually, I resaw logs into boards that I let dry for a few years before using. Shorter, small logs and branches, I set aside to use for things like carved spoons, whistles, or other type of folk art, like the bird house I thought up.

I took a piece of cherry and hollowed it out. I drilled a 1 1/2" hole, carved a mouth around it, then carved the rest of the face to match the mouth. For the perch, I used some salvaged purpleheart and carved it into the shape of a long tongue.

The base hides 1/2" threaded pipe and inserts and can be unscrewed to change to a longer pole for displaying outside. The wood is salvaged mahogany and a piece of cherry branch, hollowed out for the pipe to fit through. I call this piece "Say Ah-h-h."

I plan to make another similar birdhouse soon so I can have two of them to submit to the San Francisco Museum of Craft + Design. The deadline is July 10, so I have a little time to get another one completed.

Onward through the fog.

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