Category Archives: metal work

A Wooden Teddy Bear Carved in Response to Grief

The death of our beloved 15 year old small dog has been really hard on both my husband and me.

I wrote in my previous post about the Comfort Doll that I carved from a fallen branch- LINK

When I was carving her, I was inspired to carve a Teddy Bear that would have an open space in it’s heart…..

I used amber color shellac to paint the Teddy Bear to look like our little dog, and then…

My husband and I each placed a tiny scoop of our little dog’s ashes in the open circle.

Then I glued a gold heart over it to seal it….

The glue seals it completely.

It took a while to dry and turn clear.

We both held the little teddy bear and found it to be very comforting….

We sat Teddy Bear and Pollydolly in front of the box of our little guy’s ashes, but when I finished weaving her outfit and knitting a red sweater and blue jeans for him, we sat them on top of the box:

My husband loves working with metal, so he made a little steel doggie: Edward Alloy in tribute to our wee fellow, and it has joined them on the box…..

We have found this tender making of small things in celebration of our wee dog to be very comforting!

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Filed under carved wooden dolls, carved wooden teddy bears, carving wood, doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, grief, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, metal work, personal stuff, teddy bear, weaving & handwoven, wooden dolls, woodwork

Fused Glass and Welded Steel Heart and Hands

My husband, Jim Findlay, and I really enjoy co-creating.

He has always had a penchant for welding and metal smithing, and because of the pandemic, was able to explore his love of metal working more.

He’s a musician, and has had almost all his gigs cancelled for the last 2 years.

So he re-directed his creativity into his woodworking and metalsmithing.

Seeing what he was up to inspired me…. I’ll show you more pictures of some of our co-creations later…

I have loved the ‘Heart and Hand’ blessing image from folk tradition and worked with it in various ways for decades.

I asked Jim if he would be into welding hands that I could add hearts and cuffs to in various ways.

He liked that idea.

And then, we started taking Fused Glass classes, and we got all excited about making the

hearts and cuffs in Fused Glass. We loved working together on the glass. It’s magical!

We decided that this was the perfect Christmas gift for several family members.

We took the class several times over the spring, summer and autumn to hone our skills.

(We make Christmas presents all year long, so it’s part of our rhythm as a couple.)

It took a lot of trial and error to get the hands just right, and so Jim built a very

nifty jig to shape the rods. (Lots of cutting and welding was involved!)

We are sooooo pleased with how the Hearts and Hands turned out.

They were totally made with love in every step!

One of our family members said that hanging it in her window

would be like waving to her neighbours, and sending love out into the world.

I was delighted when she said that, because that is exactly what the Heart and Hands are meant to be!

They are a symbol of welcome, but also of protection, too….

and the metaphor of saying that only good things are welcome is pretty significant these days.

We learned a lot while making the Hearts and Hands.

We have also started exploring including wooden hearts that I sculpt from offcuts of fallen trees that have been given to us for firewood, but Jim has been milling into usable lumber rather than just chopping for the wood burning stove.

( We sent the first one of the sculpted wooden heart version off to friends without remembering to take a pic of it, but will make more and then photograph them.)

The Heart and Hands were the inspiration for making the cardboard folders

that I wrote about in my last blog post. LINK

This has been an alchemical journey!

We feel the Heart and Hands are something that we want to continue to work with,

and see how they evolve.

And, in the meantime, they will be waving from a few windows, sending love out into the world!

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