One of the funnest parts about most major Scouting events are the various themes selected by competing sections. Competition can be fierce between these sections who are competing for the events spirit award so having a good costume or props is a plus.
The theme for our section at Conclave this April will be the psychedelic 60's so as you can see from the pictures to the right, I've been busy carving up a hippy necklace. This was a very easy carving project that probably only took about an hour to design, cut, carve, and paint.
Since woodshop and Scouting classes have been centered around the upcoming pinewood derby race, there were plenty of basswood scraps lying around so that's what I used for this project. I started with a piece of basswood about 7/16" thick, 1-3/4" wide, and 1-7/8" tall.
Although I could have used a compass and pencil to get a "perfect" circle, I just sketched out the circle freestyle thus giving it a more handmade appeal. Using the scrollsaw I then cut out the design in preparation for carving. As you can see from the pictures to the left I allowed for a small block protruding from the top of the the necklace where I then drilled a 1/8" hole for the cord.
As seen in the picture to the right I then just smoothed up all of the rough edges left by the scrollsaw, then used my small V-parting tool to etch in the notches seen around the "chicken-foot" peace sign. I decided to use hot pink acrylic paint for the peace sign, then I chose a variety of rainbow colors for the surrounding circular frame of the necklace. I completed the necklace by applying a satin polyurethane then strung a piece of black leather lacing through the hole as the lanyard.
This was a very fun and quick scrap wood project that has now inspired even more ideas for future necklace projects, perhaps with a different theme. The possibilities are limitless so I've already started brainstorming a list. Basswood was also an excellent choice for this project since the open spaces between the peace sign and the surrounding frame could be a fragile point using soft wood. Basswood also has the strength to withstand drilling the small lanyard hole.
I'm looking forward to Conclave 2010 which should be a premium Scouting event where everyone can have a lot of fun. The little hand-carved hippy necklace is small but I hope that it will generate a few laughs and to help us bring home the award for most spirit!
Living in the mountains of North Carolina I have spent almost 30 very
rewarding years working with at-risk kids in a wilderness camping program as a counselor, outdoor educator, and woodshop teacher. To learn more about what my blog is all about, just scroll down this sidebar to "About my blog..."
1. Woodcarving/Woodwork: Working wood has been a lifetime obsession for me and I enjoy sharing what I know. It is my belief that hands-on and experiential learning has a direct and profound effect on the development of a child's intellect, confidence, and character. Projects of mine (and my students) will be posted as they progress and I will occasionally include a video tutorial. All of my videos can be found here .
2. Bushcraft/Primitive Living Skills: Finding ways to live closer to the land has always fascinated me. Whether it's building a shelter, fire starting, animal tracking, or just making rustic furniture... you'll eventually see some of it here.
3. Long Distance backpacking, canoeing, & bicycling: Some of my long distance adventures include thru-hiking the 2,600 mile Pacific Crest Trail, Mexico to Canada and I solo paddled the 1,800 mile Yukon river across northwest Canada and Alaska to the Bering sea. More detailed accounts of these and many other adventures can be found here
4. Sustainable Living: I'm always looking for better ways to do more by using less. It's not so much an "environmental" thing to me as it is a quest for personal independence from material things and finding a path to more substantive living .
5. Scouting Activity: As a scoutmaster of 6 years (and currently assistant scoutmaster) I'm actively involved with the troop and "Order of the Arrow" where it is a joy to volunteer hundreds of hours each year because investing in the next generation insures a better tomorrow for everyone. In an era when most schools don't value hands-on learning, outdoor education, and the arts... scouting soars in meeting these critical experiences for boys.
6. Profiles: Behind everyone's success you can usually find a trail of some very significant mentors and teachers along the way. And sometimes you don't completely understand how someone affected your life for the better until many years later. You'll find some of those stories here.