Wooden Wearables
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From the studio of
  • Work bench
  • In the workshop

Process

To make a bow tie, the right piece of wood must be sourced. I look for a piece with a bit of character, a slight wave in the grain, or a contrast between the heart-wood and sap-wood. The critical part is making sure the grain flows along the piece and is horizontal at the thinnest point in the centre. This ensures maximum strength.

I usually cut the shape out with a bandsaw, and begin to shape the tie with various grinders. The importance of the flow of material as it folds over and pinches in the middle is critical at this stage. Before refining the shape with chisels, the hole for the strap to pass through is formed using a small rotary tool. Precision is required to not pierce the outside of the design, and to make the hole meet in the middle!

Once polished up and sanded to a fine grade, the bowtie is then rubbed with linseed oil. This gives it a lovely warm colour and protects it from moisture.

In pieces where more than one type of wood has been used, the effect has been achieved by layering different woods together with the direction of the grain at 90 degree angles. The piece is made is much stronger as a result.

I use this technique to make rings and bangles that will withstand pressures of everyday use.