Happy Holidays to All!

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Project by mauibob posted 11-25-2010 04:04 PM 2580 views 8 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Happy Holidays to All!
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Happy holidays to all Lumberjocks!

The inspiration for this picture came from a slab of spalted, cherry burl which I had set aside a little over a year ago. In taking a slice off the slab on my bandsaw, I noticed some really beautiful patterns from the spalting, reminiscent of wispy clouds, and a gorgeous swirling pattern around a center knot which gave the impression of strong air currents from movement. With the holiday season rapidly approaching, the thought came to mind of Santa dashing through the sky with the burl knot transforming itself into a brilliant moon made of aspen silhouetting his reindeer.

Santa, his reindeer and trees were all made from macassar ebony – only fitting for jolly St. Nick and his entourage to have the best – while the tree shadows were cut from sapele. The rolling hillside was made of both the heartwood and sapwood from a slab of Chechen rosewood. I love this wood for marquetry because of its unusual, often quite wild, grain patterns. The Christmas tree was complemented by aspen stringing and a set of shimmering ornaments created from a mix of 5 minute epoxy and blue metallic dust InLace which was inlayed into 1/8” diameter holes made on the drillpress. Finally, the stars were created using white acrylic paint, stenciled onto the wood using a stencil cut from mylar sheet. I find that mixed media techniques – double bevel marquetry, inlay and stenciling for example – yield a more dramatic design than a single technique would alone.

The final piece was finished with two coats of a wipe-on polyurethane. The poly finish seems to really bring up the highlights from the InLace and acrylic.

-- Bob, Potomac, MD

18 comments so far

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 4511 days

#1 posted 11-25-2010 05:06 PM

The way you used the grain here and designed around it really makes the piece!

I love the suggestion of the air currents, as well as the topographical look to the hillsides.

Great job, great job.

What is the size of this festive piece?

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Robsshop's profile


923 posts in 4435 days

#2 posted 11-25-2010 05:07 PM

Very festive and great craftsmanship wrapped up in one timeless piece ,beautiful work. Happy Holidays !

-- Rob,Gaithersburg,MD,One mans trash is another mans wood shop treasure ! ;-)

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4327 days

#3 posted 11-25-2010 05:17 PM

That is beautiful; Happy Thanksgiving.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View mauibob's profile


258 posts in 4528 days

#4 posted 11-25-2010 05:17 PM

Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for the nice compliments! The piece is roughly 8×10”. It was limited primarily by the size of the hunk of cherry burl that I found.

Happy Thanksgiving!

-- Bob, Potomac, MD

View woody57's profile


650 posts in 4888 days

#5 posted 11-25-2010 05:48 PM

love it

-- Emmett, from Georgia

View Nick_Osbourne's profile


105 posts in 4409 days

#6 posted 11-25-2010 06:06 PM

This is beautiful. How did you inlay such fine pieces for the sleigh? What a holiday treasure!

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 4946 days

#7 posted 11-25-2010 06:24 PM

Just marvelous. Of course I’m a big christmas fan. It all works together. You’re right, the spalding first caught my eye as swirling clouds and fog. A really nice piece.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View Pdub's profile


926 posts in 4640 days

#8 posted 11-25-2010 06:26 PM

Beautiful piece! Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas.

-- Paul, North Dakota, USAF Ret.

View Jim's profile


159 posts in 4751 days

#9 posted 11-25-2010 06:44 PM

Nice use of woods and other media.


View Diggerjacks's profile


2331 posts in 4599 days

#10 posted 11-25-2010 07:34 PM

Hello Mauibob

This is a beautiful job

Your project will be a beautiful pattern scroll saw job

I really like it

In France It’s : ” Joyeux Noël”

Thanks for sharing

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View Ken90712's profile


18113 posts in 4649 days

#11 posted 11-25-2010 07:51 PM

Great work all the way around, Its perfect!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Gary's profile


9433 posts in 4893 days

#12 posted 11-25-2010 07:52 PM

Man!...what craftsmanship….what beautiful art. You are good….really good

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Pawky's profile


278 posts in 4264 days

#13 posted 11-25-2010 10:39 PM

Everything about this is fantastic. You did a very good job tying everything together so well.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5621 days

#14 posted 11-26-2010 01:19 AM

hey – I recognize that guy!!
what an amazing job and “vision” right from the first.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 5234 days

#15 posted 11-26-2010 01:42 AM

Very nice. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

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