Hobbies, Crafts and Collectibles Show 309

Today on Hobbies, Crafts and Collectibles, we see there’s a fine line between crafting
and creating works of art, as we visit with scrollsaw artist Wes McCoy of St. Joseph,
Illinois. Stay tuned to see if our guest makes the cut,
on Hobbies, Crafts, and Collectibles. It’s my pleasure to welcome Wes McCoy from
St. Joseph, Illinois to our studio today. Thank you Wes, for coming. Wes:
Thank you, it’s a pleasure. Duska:
As you can see, we have an artist in residence here today, and he actually does this all
with a scroll saw and I think that it’s really important to differentiate those two things,
between laser work, and scroll saw, because we see a lot of laser work out there today,
and computerized stuff, but this is all done the old fashioned way, and it’s all hand done
and you can really see the care in his pieces. So thanks for bringing all this beautiful
work to show us. Tell us first of all how you got started. Wes:
Oh, I got started about ten years ago, and I just started off with basically your small
ornaments, and just liked it a lot and got into it, and started doing a lot more, and
a lot more practice, of course, with everything else, what you need is practice, but it just
carried on from there. And, of course, I had to give gifts to each
member of my family so then it just blossomed after that. Duska:
Well, and you and I have something in common. We both had daddies with workshops, and so
you grew up around wood, and you probably spent a few hours helping dad out in the shop. Wes:
Yeah, I was little familiar with the tools that he had. And I dabbled in that in high school. And went through some of the woodshops that
the high school offered, and then that’s the basis of it really. So it had my interest, and I just looked in
the mirror one day, and said you know what, I’ve got to do this, and I just made my garage
into a shop. Duska:
Awesome, because you are actually a mason by trade, so this is a hobby of yours, that
you know, kind of a side line, I guess, but it’s become something that is more, I mean,
you actually go to shows, and show your work, and that sort of thing. Wes:
Yes. Duska:
Sometimes it happens doesn’t it, with our hobbies? They kind of take on a life of their own. So let’s just start by showing some of the
work. I know you’ve got some different techniques
to show us today. So I am very excited about that, but let’s
just start behind me here, because this is, when I hear scroll saw, this is what I think
of, and this is such a cool piece, move this over a little bit, to make sure you can see,
but tell us about this. Wes:
Well, that is two lions, male and female, and it is an example of basically fretwork
too, it’s quarter-inch thick wood, and it’s every, Duska:
And what type of wood is that? Wes:
That is oak, oak plywood. Duska:
It is oak, ok Wes:
And every little crevice, every little cut you see, first you have to drill a hole in
to insert the blade, and then you make your cut. Duska:
I see. That’s how you get that scroll blade into
the wood. That has to take forever. How many hours do you have in a piece like
that? Wes:
A piece like that is probably a good forty hours. Duska:
Wow. So not only is it very detail, time consuming, but you have to have good eyesight, too. Wes:
And I do have glasses! [Laughter] Duska:
I can only imagine. But that is beautiful. I love the way you have it framed out. So, you are going from some pretty thin wood
there to some different thicknesses. You probably have different sizes of blades
that you use for different styles. Wes:
Yes, there are a lot of blades out there. There’s reverse tooth, saw tooth, and different
sizes of blades, and the thicker the wood, the thicker the blade that you need. So, the thinner stuff, the fretwork, is a
very small, #2R blade that you use. Duska:
So this would be an example of one of your smaller works? Wes:
Yes, the Fret clock. Duska:
Look at this. This is so lovely and so detailed. And again, it’s more of a quarter inch thickness,
and you’ve got that tiny little detail, frat work. This is gorgeous. Wes:
Thank you. Duska:
And you’ve incorporated different wood in one, I see some walnut I believe, Wes:
That’s walnuts, and oak, Duska:
Oak, which I love that, you’ve used the actual colors as it is naturally, and not even have
to stain it, or if you want to you can stain it. Wes:
Yeah, that’s exactly right. That is an oil-based stain there. It’s not any, some of these I have polyurethane,
I like to use that, but I also like to use the oil stains. Duska:
I understand. What kind of oil? Is it like a Wes:
I use either Danish oil, Tung oils, linseed oils, Duska:
That one’s beautiful. I am holding if upside down, aren’t I? Wes:
Yes, you were. Duska
I was holding it upside down, and he didn’t even say anything! I love my guests. I have the kindest guests. Let’s put it right, unless you just like to
tell time upside down. But, oh, it’s beautiful, isn’t it? Very nice. Now this then, would be this eagle here, next
to me. Again, an example of fretwork, this would
be a walnut, wouldn’t it? Wes:
Yes, that is a thicker type of; basically, it’s not fretwork, because when they say fret
work, it’s when they use small thickness of wood. Duska:
Oh, I see. Wes:
That is the statue of an eagle, and sometimes with the grain of the wood, the white or the
cambium wood, you can use to your advantage. Duska:
It’s part of the Wes:
With different shades, and toning’s of your piece of work. Duska
That makes so much sense. And look at the feathers, and how the grain
works with the piece. I love that. Look how pretty. Very nice, so it’s no fretwork because it
is a thicker piece. Wes:
Right. Duska:
You are dealing with. And many hours, I am sure. Wes:
Yes. Many hours in that one. Duska:
Now, just so I don’t knock him over I m going to set him back here a little ways, so I can
get to some of the other piece. This one down in the front here, you’ve actually
used a piece of this balsa wood? Wes:
That is a basswood round. Duska:
Basswood round, ok. Wes:
Yes, and that is about 3/4 inch thick. And that took, that’s a lot of hours in that
one, Duska:
Yeah, this one is pretty, and I love how you’ve backed it then with a solid color. It really pops out, the design does, doesn’t
it? And this is a, I also like that the bark is
left on this piece of wood. Wes:
It adds a little bit to it. Duska
It does. It really, really does. Very nice, and then this one back here, again,
this is actually a lion. Wes:
Yes, that is also, Duska:
That is also, it’s that same style of wood, but it’s stained differently, isn’t it? Wes:
Yes, it’s a natural oil stain on it, and that brings out the natural beauty of the basswood
round. Duska:
Uh huh, and the wolf was actually stained a light color. Gotcha. So this is again, just beautiful work, I love
this one too. I love how you’ve backed this one with the
actual flag, it adds to the patriotic theme of the piece. Wes:
It’s a spirit catcher. Duska:
Spirit catcher, of course it is, yeah, Native American art. I do see that theme, some wild life, and you
pull from that. Do you have any roots as far as Native American
roots, or anything, or is it just, Wes:
No, not really. Of course, there is probably some blood in
our family, but I just have a passion for the Native American and wildlife. Duska:
Understood, and it shows. Very nice. Now, explain this one. I like this bowl over here. This is kind of a detour from some other pieces,
but explain this. Wes:
Well, that is, they are basically bowls out that are that type of design, and some people
say they look a little either Scandinavian, or Duska:
Yeah, Danish Wes:
Yes, but you can basically put fruit in there, or any kind of knick knacks that you want, Duska:
The cool thing is that you used a piece of wood here and just done graduating circles
out of the same piece. Wes:
Exactly, yep. Duska:
And I don’t know if the camera is picking up on it, but the edge too then is all notched
out with the saw, and that had to take a long time. Wes:
That was a long one. Duska:
So much work for such a tiny piece, so intricate. Very Beautiful. Now then there are a couple other techniques
that you use in your scroll saw art, if I can say that five times real fast, but this
would be an example of segmentation? Wes:
Yes. Segmentation is a form of intarsia, basically,
and you use the same wood but you either stain it with different stains, or you paint it. And basically, it’s all intarsia, but just
a separate form of it. Duska:
I see. And I’ll show another intarsia piece here
in a second, but so this, so every piece is kind of beveled, as it fits together. So it would have been one piece of wood that
you cut out, that you sanded on, or whatever, you’ve fine-tuned it, and then put it all
back together. Wes:
Yep, basically you are cutting out a puzzle, and then you are gluing the puzzles back together,
and you want to add some three dimension, so you an either have different thicknesses
of wood to work with, or you can also use shims on your backer board. But you want to create a three-dimensional
character if you can. Duska:
Absolutely, he’s adorable. Now, my favorite, though, of you intarsia,
is definitely this puppy dog. Oh you are going to love him, he is so cute. I love how you’ve incorporated actual shoestring
into the design and made it part of the art, so cute. Wes:
This comes from a design, it’s a Kathy Wise Design, and she designs her own patterns and
her patterns are outstanding. They are wonderful. And everything I’ve ever done from her,
that’s the final product. It is gorgeous. Duska:
It is gorgeous. Wes:
She does a wonderful job on her patterns. Duska:
Now, as opposed to segmentation then, for this intarsia piece, you’ve used different
species of wood, and that’s how you get your colors. Wes:
That is correct. Duska:
Ok. Wes:
And that one also has a lot of walnut and a lot of oak in it. And then I just incorporated the shoestring
to add a little “schwa” to it! Duska:
I like it a lot. So that wasn’t part of her original design,
that was something that you did? Wes:
No, that actually was in her design, Duska:
It was in the design to do it that way? Oh I love it. So you can actually, if you wanted to, design
your own patterns, but then there are also a lot of patterns available for artists such
as yourself to take advantage of, so that’s cool. Wes:
Yeah, there are a lot of things, you can get on the internet and find your basic patterns. People starting out, they can get online,
and find free patterns. They are simple, they are excellent starters,
and then you can get on and of course, invest in patterns. Some patterns you can pay a lot for, but the
quality is there. You get what you pay for. Duska:
Do you find that once you’ve done a pattern, the challenge is over and you want to move
to another pattern? Or are there some that you just like to re-do
over and over again that are popular? Wes:
I re-do a lot of mine, Duska:
Do you? Wes:
Yeah, I do a lot of eagles; eagles seem to be the best-seller. Duska:
Ok. Well, it really shows off your skill with the feathers all that fine detail work, so
I imagine that’s one of the reasons they are such a popular item. Wes:
Um hmm, yeah, and there’s a lot of military out there, and I do a lot of military things. And the intarsia, though, it’s fantastic. I just enjoy doing it, and Duska:
Let’s show another example of that. Because I know it is hard to see it when they
are laying down on the table. Look at this. This would be a bulldog, right? Wes:
Boxer. Duska:
Boxer, it’s a boxer, sure it is. I am holding things upside down today, and
calling things wrong names, but that’s ok. It’s all good. This one is so cool. I love the, what is this light wood? Wes:
That is aspen. DUska:
Oh, I didn’t realize aspen, because that doesn’t have any stain on it, does it? Wes:
It’s got polyurethane on it, Duska:
Yeah, but it’s the natural color. Wes:
Yeah, the aspen gives you white, I am presently doing a raccoon family, so I need the white
to incorporation in the faces. Duska:
Sure, yeah. Oh, I like this guy. And so your clear coat of choice would just
be polyurethane, Wes:
Right. Duska:
It give it that sheen and protective Wes:
I do the high gloss and the semi-gloss, but I like the high gloss. Duska:
Ok, and then the last intarsia piece that you brought for us today is this wolf. Wes:
Yep. Duska:
Again, that Native American, kind of southwest look to it, but, you know, natural wildlife
inspiration as well. Look at his eyes, they are so tiny, pieces
are so small. Wes:
I’ve had a lot of comments on that one. Duska:
He is really something. Wes:
That is basically all mahogany. Different shades of mahogany, and then of
course, you have your walnut, and aspen, and maple, this section here is maple. Duska:
Wow, so you work with a lot of different woods. What is your favorite to work with? Wes:
Definitely walnut. Duska:
Why is that? Wes:
Well, it’s what I have the most of, of course, and then basically the value of walnut, it
is such a gorgeous wood when it is done, and it is so versatile. People think is is a very hard wood, but it
is easy to work with. Duska:
Is it? Wes:
Yes, it’s not like when you are cutting hickory or oak, that’s very hard wood, and you go
through a lot of blades when you cut that. Duska:
Now, see, I am surprised that as you are scroll sawing, it doesn’t splinter. How do you keep the wood from kind of? Wes:
Basically, your process for any type of scrollwork is you pick your piece you want to do, and
you take your pattern, you pick your pattern, and you apply either a double-sided tape,
or spray adhesive on your pattern, and you place it on your wood, your wood of choice,
and then you put packing tape, clear packing tape over it. So the clear packing tape, what it does is
it cleans your blade as it cuts, and it keeps the wood from fraying and burning. Duska:
I see. Wes:
It basically keeps the wood from burning, Duska:
That makes since, because it would get scorched with the friction of the saw, Wes:
Yes, so that’s the basic way you do scroll sawing, and then of course every cut you have
to drill a hole, but I encourage young people to do it. It’s very time-consuming, but if you have
the time, and you put a lot of effort, and you have the passion, you get great results
and you meet a lot of great people. Duska:
Now when you say young people, how old do you think is safe to start instructing a kid
to work with a scroll saw? Wes:
There is so many youngsters out there. There’s 14, 15, 16-year olds even younger,
12, I see them all the time. They are producing work out there that they
put in the county fairs, and they are actually winning blue ribbons with their work. Duska:
That would be exciting for you to see. Wes:
It is very exciting; it is very gratifying. Duska:
Now, see, I spent some time scroll sawing, I keep saying sawling, why can’t I, I can’t
speak, scroll sawing, I spent a lot of time doing that in my dad’s workshop when I was
little, but nothing ever turned out quite like this. I don’t understand, but there is definitely
an art to it, and a skill, but like you said, practice makes perfect, so don’t be nervous,
and you know, your first piece may not turn out exactly how you want it, but Wes:
Start off with ornaments, start Duska:
Good Idea. Ornaments. Wes:
Off with the kitten, Duska:
Yeah, this kitten is so cute. I love how you’ve backed the kitten with white,
again that really makes the pattern show. But see now this would be a more manageable
as far as time goes, for a younger artist to start on. Wes:
And male and female both are scrollsawers. I’ve met a lot of them, and it kind of, I’ve
had carvers, too, that I’ve met and the carving thing I would love to start doing, but I don’t
know if I could do it, Duska:
That would be interesting to see if you could incorporate both, carving and scroll sawing
in, yeah. Now you were talking about eagles being one
of your best seller, I definitely want to make sure we zoom in on a couple of again,
another patriotic theme you have, “Let Freedom Ring”, over here, and you’ve got the red behind
it plus the blue mat. That’s so cool looking. I love it.
And again, the feathers, it just seems that eagles would be a great subject matter. Wes:
They are a wonderful seller, yes. Duska:
Yeah, absolutely. And then on the back we have my favorite,
I love the way you’ve made the wings actually almost like they are flames. Wes:
Flaming Eagle. Duska:
Flaming Eagle. I like that. Yeah, we are getting a good shot of that one
now. Very nice, well, is there a limit as far as
size? I imagine how big is your biggest work? Wes:
Well, you are kind of limited because my scroll saw is basically 20 inch. It’s got a 20 inch throat, in depth, so anything
basically over 20 inches you’d have to piece together. Duska:
Right, which kind of takes away from the whole, it’s all one piece, and yeah, I could see
that. Wes:
In about 10 years, I’ve probably gone through about 4 or 5 scroll saws, so I really push
my scroll saw. Duska:
And I imagine it probably behooves a person to change the blade often, because you want
to keep it sharp, Wes:
Exactly yes. I go through a tremendous amount of blades,
and that is the key, is to keep it sharp, so you do have the fine cuts, and it makes
you, enables you to get the fine details that you need to produce something like the lion
there. Duska:
Um hmm. Yeah. I can imagine. Well, you do a beautiful job, and your practice
does make perfect, because I don’t see a flaw here, and I am looking at them up close, so
I really appreciate you bringing all of your work to us, and encouraging young people to
get involved. That’s one of the things we want to do with
this show, is just to show people there are a lot of wonderful hobbies that we can encourage
our young people to get into the workshop, and use their imaginations, and express creativity,
and learn a skill like this, because it is a skill that they can use for years, and years,
and years and years. Wes:
I agree. Duska:
Absolutely. Well, thank you Wes, appreciate it so much, and we’ll talk to you again soon. Wes:
Thank you. Duska:
On this week’s segment of show and tell, we are going to talk wreaths, and I am going
to give you some ideas of how to recycle some of that old paper you have laying around. Wreaths are so popular, and they are more
than just for the holidays right now, we’ve got a lot of great ideas floating around out
on the internet about how to make your own wreaths, very inexpensively, and very simply,
and I just want to show you three ways of doing that, but I am not going to show you
step by step, don’t have time for that but I wanted to show you some of the key elements
that you are going to need to make some of these wreaths for yourself. First of all, I’ve seen these tissue paper
wreaths for years now, and basically I thought it would be kind of a neat take, because I
love sewing, and sewing patterns, and I kind of have been collecting those even if they
are old and worn, I love to collect them and use them tissue paper for different projects. I thought I’d show you how to make a wreath
real quick out of some of the tissue that you get within. You know, it is the part that they actually
print the pattern on, it’s tissue paper. This is what we are, what we are talking about. This is a wreath, and I am just going to give
you a good view of it, and let the camera zoom in on parts of it. Again, an older technique, it’s been around
for decades, but kind of a new take on it. All this tissue paper, I’ve actually cut the
tissue patterns into squares six to eight inches, it depends on the look you want, and
that the cool thing about this project, is that it is what you want it to be. Yours is not going to look like mine. So don’t worry about that. But what we are going to start off with is
a floral wreath, and you can get these at any of your hobby stores, or your big stores,
and you are going to want to punch some holes. Now again, you are going to want to do this
according to how full you want it to look, closer together the circles are going to create
a more full effect, and I usually do about one and a half to two inches apart, and what
you are going to need is your basic ball point pin. And what I’ve done here is gone through
and decided you know, how far I want my holes to be apart, take the point of your pin, and
just punch. Very cathartic. And then, you are going to take the squares
that you have cut out of your tissue paper, now this can be kind of a tedious process,
you are going to need even a hundred to a hundred and fifty squares to a wreath, but
just lay them down, the great thing about tissue paper, it is thin, lay them down in
layers and just cut them down into rows, and it goes pretty fast really, you are going
to take your ball point pen, and take the center of your tissue, put it over the ball
point pen, and scrunch up your paper over it, twist it a little bit, and then you are
going to need a glue gun. Glue guns are our friends as long as we don’t
burn ourselves. You can use other adhesives, but this is fast
and this is instant, so I love to use them. Just put a little dot on the end of that pen,
and then you are just going to force it into the hole. Easy, breezy, lemon-peezy. And I like to give it a little bit of a twist
while I am taking the pen out that way it is sure to stay. And see, you are going to need to do this
a lot, in order to get that entire wreath filled. But once you do, and you are going to want
to do it on the sides, and the inside too, and once you do, it is going to be big and
full and yummy. And you can decide if you want to leave it
that way, or if you want to deck it out a little bit. Here are some ideas that I had for using some
of my sewing collectibles. I have a few of these sewing tapes. I love these measuring tapes. and they come
in, this one is a paper one, I have a cloth one, different colors, I was kind of going
for maybe a sophisticated monochromatic look for this one, so I tried to find sewing supplies
that kind of had the same color scheme going. And you can kind of see it blends in a little,
and you could do, you know me I love color, so you could pop the color on this, but you
can see here, I’ve got a spool, and again, I’ve just taken some floral wire and run it
through the hole, and taken a little glue on that wire, and shoved it in my Styrofoam. That easy. Down here, you can see I’ve got a few of these
floating through the wreath, these are the cards your buttons used to come on, a couple
little fabric rag balls, some more spools, and then i even took a pair of sewing scissors,
stuck some glue on the end of that and just shoved it in, and I think it turned out kind
of cute. I’m trying to think what seamstress friend
I have that I might give this to as a gift. Very inexpensive. Again, more elbow grease than anything, but
it’s kind of a fun idea. Another idea, moving right along, this one,
anybody can do, you can get the kids involved with this one. What I’ve done with this one is actually used
some wrapping paper, and you can use your Christmas paper, or birthday paper, or whatever
even you want to make a wreath for, I actually found some clearance valentine paper, you
don’t see that very often. But it came with strips of words across it,
as you can see, so I just cut those strips of words out, I am going to show you quickly
how to do this. First you are going to want to get a piece
of poster board, just cut a hole out of it, poster board is not as thick as it used to
be, I actually doubled this up. I left this back open so you could kind of
see the staples, but all you need is a staple gun, some paper, and some poster board for
this one. You are just going to cut strips, real easy,
like so, you are going to double that over, and then you are going to staple it. That is it. And then, your round that you cut out of poster
board, and kind of a secret for that, I have here, get your bowls out of your cupboard. This is kind of a large bowl that I decided
would make a great size for the wreath, just trace around it on your poster board, and
then you are going to make that circle, and then find a smaller bowl, for your center,
trace around that one, cut it out, and like I said I did that twice, and kind of doubled
up, but I used that poster board base for this wreath and for the next one I want to
show you real quick. And you are just going to staple those around
and I laid them all the same direction, and just kind of staggered them to get that fun
look, and then I stapled some of the strips of paper at the bottom too, so that one is
a real easy one, and I’d rather give this as a Valentine gift than a card, I think. I think it is more fun. Behind me we have a wreath that is kind of
gaining popularity. People are taking the pages of old books,
dictionaries. I love old hymnbooks. I’ve taken a old hymn book here and taken
the pages out because it was falling apart, it was already falling apart, and again I
started with a poster board round, and I just took my hot glue gun, I’ll show you real quick
how to make a horn out of it, and I just did two layers of those horns around the poster
board, and then I glued in [00:25:21;29] a grapevine wreath in the center, and I already
had the little branch from Christmas and actually the bird in the nest is something I always
put on my Christmas tree every year, so I was just thinking how can I use this, it is
just so cute for the rest of the winter and that’s what I came up with. But the horns are really easy to make. You are just going to need some hymn pages,
let me grab these real quick to show you, oh yeah, here’s the horn and the trick is
you just want to make them kind of uniform or not, I mean you could do it kind of a haphazard
look, but I think it’s very stunning when they all kind of look the same, and there’s
symmetry to it. So the horn is really easy to make, let me
move this out of the way. Basically what I ended up doing about 2/3
down the page, held one finger, and flipped the corner over and you just started rolling. And you can make a jig if you want, to get
kind of the same size, if you want to, and there you go, you’ve got a horn. A dot of glue and there you go. Very, very easy, and you can do this. I’d
love to see your projects, so be sure and send us some pictures and let me know how
you did. Thanks again for watching this week. We’ll see you next time.

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