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Michael Baker
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It's too early for local peaches and southern peaches are shipped when they are still green. I bought some southern peaches at Kroger and let them sit for a few days until softened a bit and they developed some sugar. They aren't the best, but the blueberries definitely picked it up.

I'll get that BBQ pulled pork stuff up when I can get it organized. It will be a long post.
~michael baker
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Wizard of Oz
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Pulled pork, long post. I'm on to you Mr. Baker.

StevieDee, humor is always a great way to enter anyplace new. Welcome! I think you'll find a lot of great advice and really decent people in this area of the Café. I haven't built a prop (or a pie) in probably 30 years, but I still love thinking that I may. So, I come here and listen to other people talk about what I wish I was doing. Not a bad way to pass the time.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
gimpy2
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Welcome Steviedee.

Bring on the pork talk Michael.
Michael Baker
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OK guys... Time to show some magic again. You've seen a few variations of this, but this is my latest one and the first that I have made available for sale on my website. All others were by commission order. Spread the word! Smile

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~michael baker
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gimpy2
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Michael, its just fantastic. The gold accents are stunning. I never have been able to get gold paint to look very good at all.
StevieDee
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Fabulous as always, Michael. As a "new diner" at the café, I just want to thank you for all the great information you have shared with the rest of us wannabe craftsmen.
AGMagic
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Absolutely beautiful...as always!
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Visualize Whirled Peas!
Wizard of Oz
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My head is bleeding from me hitting it on the table when I fainted after hyperventilating when I saw how stunning this was. Thanks for making me bleed Michael.
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Michael Baker
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Comfort food night. Smile

Fried chicken breast pieces, hash brown casserole and green beans. Enough left for tomorrow, too.

Image
~michael baker
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The magic word is, "Yum."
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gimpy2
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Looks great my friend.
Michael Baker
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One of my customers had asked if I could make a base for the Skeleton (Zombie) in the Coffin. I thought it was a great idea, and something that I should have thought about all along. I wanted to do something a bit more fitting to the theme than just a generic stand of some kind, so I came up with this idea to make an old-fashioned wooden cart, such as those used a long time ago to wheel coffins around. This is the result. I have supplied these to those who have already purchased the trick from me, and plan to include them with all future sets.

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This shows the full set. If you didn't read previous description of the set, the blocks are reversible, so it can be performed either with a Skeleton or a Zombie.

Image
~michael baker
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Very nice. You are quite literally thinking outside of the box.

Seriously though, the cart prop would work great in the story telling process...I love it.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Michael Baker
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Yeah... especially since the wheels work!
~michael baker
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john wills
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Sooooo beautiful!
Michael Baker
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Some recent restoration work...

Carl Williams Giant Ball Vase. The finish on this was quite bad, so I removed it and re-did it.

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Walter Sheppard table for "Where Does the Bunny Go?"

Restoration of top and legs (legs not shown)

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Thayer Glass Penetration Frame

This is a piece that was in a collection I bought last fall. It arrived with some kind of hard gunk stuck all over the wood, the glass, and one of the metal clips. It took quite some time and effort to get it off without further damaging the prop. After I had it all removed, I re-stained the wood and the results are pretty good. I adjusted the spring clip tension, but did not elect to polish them. It's a nice piece again!

(Those who are more observant will notice that I also fixed that pesky hole in the glass! Smile )

Before...

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After...

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~michael baker
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AGMagic
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Beautiful...as always, Michael.
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Visualize Whirled Peas!
Wizard of Oz
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Outstanding Michael. I have mini-collections of ball vases and penetration frames, so these are dear to me.
How did you achieve the darker tones on the yellowish surface of the ball vase? It has a lovely antiqued patina.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Michael Baker
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When I received the ball vase, it had areas that were void of finish. We did not know if the original finish had worn off, or if Carl Williams had deliberately done this. While that sounds strange, he has been know to replicate a piece down to the original flaws. I have heard this story from a couple different people. Apparently, he even included paint drips on a piece, because the original Okito piece had them. I cannot personally verify that, so consider it an interesting anecdotal rumor.

This particular ball vase was supposedly duplicated from a piece connected to the Louve, and that Albo borrowed it from someone in order to have Mr. Williams make some. I heard that the actual owner of the piece was upset by this. I do not know this for fact either.

What I do know is that it is a very interesting ball vase, with a method unlike any that I have ever seen. It took a bit of research and a friend speaking with Mr. Williams to attempt to put the routine together. The parts are quite simple, but their use is diabolical, if what we heard is in fact, true.

OK, so about the finish. When I began to remove the old finish, I started a quick take down with fine steel wool. At a certain point, I knew that I would begin to get into the actual wood, and wanted to avoid that.

So, I switch to rubbing the surface with lacquer thinner to dissolve any remaining finish.

Because some areas were devoid of a finish (varnish, or whatever was used), I assume that handling the piece over time imparted natural oils and dirt into the wood. Areas still sealed would not have the same "weathering". So, the wood ended up with some areas darker than others. this included the natural darkening in the crevasses that occurs to any piece over time.

I have replicated this look with some pieces using different shades of stain. It is very effective for faux antiquing a piece. If you go to my website and look at the "Custom & Restoration" page, the first and last Oriental Block Vanishes were done this way.

So, with the ball vase, I did not know what finish was used before and did not want to apply something that might react with whatever was already in the wood.

BTW - The black bands were painted, but obviously made to look like Ebony. I had to touch all of those up. That was an exercise in having a steady hand! Smile

Once I had them painted, I polished the entire piece using Carnauba wax on a muslin wheel. It worked perfectly.

If you look in the photo of that ball vase, you'll also see a small Morrison Pillbox that I will be working on soon.
~michael baker
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Wizard of Oz
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Well, the time and effort looks to be worth it (of course only you can be the judge of that...since it was your time and effort Smile)
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
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