Saturday, April 14, 2012

Stumbling Towards Windmills

Once an artist always an artist.  Every once in a while I get sucked back into creative adventures. 
Recently I have been making props for a local ballet company's production of Don Quixote.   I believe it is an opportunity to stretch myself and who knows where it might take me.  Plus it is so fun!

Start of the jousting lance.  Used a 9' 4x4 post of Western Red Cedar.

New tool that was used to shape the lance. 

I have no access to a lathe big enough to shape a 9' pole so I had to whittle the beast down with a 10" drawknife.  Working the lance with the drawknife was a cross between doing sit-ups for hours and riding a skinny horse all day.  I now have a new respect for anyone working with a drawknife and a shave horse.  

As with any new tool there is a bit of a learning curve... and I had a slight mishap on the second day of working with the drawknife.  What initially looked to be a simple cut turned out to be something a bit more ugly.  

Doesn't look too bad but later...

Going to have quite a scar.

The yellow wood is Alaskan Yellow Cedar scraps that I have from the building of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse door.  I had to build up the vamplate (bell-shaped guard in front of the grip) so I could get the proper bell shape. 

Starting to look more like a lance and less like a small sapling.

I am about halfway done with the lance.  More photos later of the finished lance.  

The following pictures are of the scabbards I built for a pair of Spanish fencing swords that I have.  The ballet company is borrowing the swords for the run of the show.  

Start of the scabbards.  

Don Quixote's scabbard and sword.  

Gamache's scabbard and sword.

Scabbard faux chapes.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Peter French Round Barn

I had never seen the Round Barn until my visit to the Malheur area of Oregon.  I believe it to be one of the most wondrous engineering feats of the 19th century here in Oregon.  Peter French designed this barn for the horses that were used on the large cattle ranch that he managed.  

View of the barn from afar

Size of the barn is a bit deceiving-it is quite large.

The inner ring is made up of a locally sourced stone.

The inner ring.  

The support posts including the large central post are juniper logs. 

Central post and intricate framing.  

Great Horned Owl nest.

Cantilevered supports.

Love those juniper logs.

Perfect setting.

Definitely worth checking out if you are ever down in Southeast Oregon.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Frenchglen, Oregon via Baker City

During spring break I was hired to teach some students from the University of Oregon on how to do window assessments. The Frenchglen Hotel was selected as the setting for the assessment.  This hotel will be the location this year for the Pacific Northwest Field School.
Before going to Frenchglen I made my way to Baker City for a quick visit to my parents.

After getting to Baker City I was treated to a spectacular sunset.  I have put some more pictures of my time in my hometown on the right side bar.  Check it out,  it is a great place to visit.  Lots of great buildings.

After 3 days with my parents I made my way south through Prairie City and John Day.  I finally hit some snow storms.  I was pretty lucky though with the weather.  I met up with the students in Burns were we had a quick dinner and then onto the Malheur Wildlife Refuge were we stayed in some plush accommodations provided by US Fish and Wildlife.

The next day our first visit was to the Peter French Sod House.   The ice house was particularly spectacular.  I will post more pictures of my visit and of the hotel itself at a later date.  

Ice house front door

The weather and terrain were very wild and extreme.  

The day I left I finally saw clear skies.