Wine pouring into a glass_ Carved Fretwork

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Project by SawTooth1953 posted 09-29-2012 03:25 PM 12292 views 19 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch


I just finished this “carved fretwork” project.
This is what I did:
1-I modified a fretwork pattern done by Dave Hall in 2009… fretwork patterns aren’t too concerned about the size of the cutout areas as long as it portrays the subject well, but for carving, the black spaces had to be narrowed a lot.
2-I cut the pattern in 1” thick poplar using the scroll saw,
3-I power carved the elements: wine bottle, stream of wine, and the glass and brought down the background.
4-I also made the frame, starting with 1” thick poplar x 1 5/8” wide… it has a 3/8” x 3/8” rabbet… the backer is 1/4” ply.

I chose this subject because I am donating this to a silent auction fundraiser at a wine tasting event. I’m hoping some deep-pocket wine collectors will be willing to bid this up to donate a bunch for a good cause so they can take this home.

The first pic shows it unfinished… the carving and frame was finished with water-based finish because I don’t want to darken or yellow the wood… I was afraid of poplar’s tendency to splotch and the water-based finish is least likely to cause that. The carving is then glued to the birch ply backer which has been painted black.
I’ll post more pics later, showing it with the finish… it looks pretty much the same.

Dick Miraglia is a true master of carved fretwork and I was greatly influenced by him… his work can be seen here:
He is giving a course on carved fretwork at the NorthEast Ohio Scrollers Picnic in May, 2013

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

18 comments so far

View Brett's profile


959 posts in 3844 days

#1 posted 09-29-2012 07:00 PM

I have not seen this type of project before. Very nice! You did a great job!

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

View SawTooth1953's profile


349 posts in 4391 days

#2 posted 09-29-2012 07:21 PM

Thanks, Brett.
Flat scroll saw work comes alive when carved… literally gains a new dimension.

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

View Bagtown's profile


1743 posts in 4815 days

#3 posted 09-30-2012 02:01 AM

Nicely done.
Hope it draws lots of bids.

-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View SawTooth1953's profile


349 posts in 4391 days

#4 posted 09-30-2012 02:25 AM

Thanks… I’ve donated many things to silent auctions over the years. How things go is always a mystery… but I’ve learned that if I am there, I can always try to buy my own project. Several times “the cheapskates” there wanted my work for $40-80 and I’d just as soon pay up and take it myself. In the early days, I just went home and bemoaned the low value they put on my work… I really am sorry I let people get my hard work for just a pittance. Like you, I hope this one goes for a lot. When donating, they ask me what the value is… for this project I’m setting the value at $600. Some people told me that isn’t high enough. I don’t know what to go by… so I ask myself, if someone at the event lost out on their bid and then asked me to make another of this project for them, at what price would I feel motivated to make it. Anybody have any comments on setting a value for a donated item?

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

View Bagtown's profile


1743 posts in 4815 days

#5 posted 09-30-2012 02:35 AM

I think it’s like any type of auction, there’s always some trepidation. But sometimes if you get the right people in the room they’ll start bidding against each other. Auction house try to make this happen by advertising what’s going to be up for auction as well as personally inviting people that they know have an interest in the items being auctioned.
I carved a canoe paddle earlier this year (you can find it in my projects)and gave it to the local rotary club for a silent auction, it went for $90.00. Im pretty sure if it was in a retail store a handmade paddle of that quality would sell for more, but that’s what auctions are about, going and sometimes paying more than something’s worth but hopefully getting a deal too. If your only interested in getting the perceived value you should find a gallery.
All that being said, good luck, I hope it brings plenty of bids.

-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View mloy365's profile


448 posts in 4215 days

#6 posted 09-30-2012 02:58 AM

I like it.

-- Mike - Northern Upper Michigan

View Jim Sellers's profile

Jim Sellers

516 posts in 3420 days

#7 posted 09-30-2012 02:59 AM

Very cool effect and nicely executed. A totally new style to me and very interesting. Good luck with the auction and thanks for posting.

-- J.C.Sellers, Norcross, Ga. Just cut it right the first time. The best carpenters make the fewest chips.

View SawTooth1953's profile


349 posts in 4391 days

#8 posted 09-30-2012 03:11 AM

If I can buy my project back for, say, $100… then I’ve donated $600 worth and spent only $100 to get it. I got a bargain!! In the end, I want the charity to get close to the $600 (give or take). The money is for them.

Believe it or not, I’ve had complex, valuable projects go for a pittance, say $45, and then someone who wished they got it for $45 wants to know if I’ll make them one for $45… my projects were simpler then and the value I set was $75-$125… but they still didn’t mind insulting me with their request. It is rare, but I’ve had people willing to pay me my price… believe me, it feels good!! Btw, it wasn’t in a gallery.

I’m just saying that I consider it a valuable lesson I learned about buying my own project back (or participating in upping the bidding if there is only one bidder)... I don’t mind if they get a bargain, but not a ridiculous bargain!

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

View Bagtown's profile


1743 posts in 4815 days

#9 posted 09-30-2012 03:32 AM

Spence, you’re preaching to the choir.


-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30615 posts in 3423 days

#10 posted 09-30-2012 04:35 AM

Very impressive piece

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Kevin's profile


575 posts in 3384 days

#11 posted 09-30-2012 01:11 PM

Wow, thats impressive. Great job.

-- Measure twice, cut once, then sand a whole bunch

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3889 days

#12 posted 09-30-2012 01:18 PM

That is way awesome! Super kool. I can almost taste that good veeno.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View sras's profile


6125 posts in 4214 days

#13 posted 09-30-2012 02:10 PM

This is the first time I have seen carved fretwork. This looks awesome! Thanks for sharing the style and your work.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 3273 days

#14 posted 09-30-2012 03:08 PM


Very well done. I have no problem seeing the glass which isn’t there. You have to forgive me but it is indeed art and although $600 – $700 is an OK price, I’m thinking there is a market at $2000 – $3000. It’s all about the contacts and acceptance that you are an artist by those who have the bucks. I sincerely wish this for you. I defininitely accept you as an artist.


-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View Grumpymike's profile


2480 posts in 3400 days

#15 posted 09-30-2012 03:17 PM

What a beautiful piece of art wood. You should ask the organization that you are donating to, to set the opening bit at $100 or remove your donation. You will be amazed at how fast they comply. And this approach tells the audiance that this is not a $45 piece.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

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