Saturday, April 6, 2013

late winter, early spring crafts

 Projects, and some more thoughts on arts and crafts.

hackberry bows
 Here's a couple of bows i finished up recently- both hackberry from th' same log. One is 64 inches long, pyramid shaped and backed with rawhide, which i stained with black walnut husks. Th' rawhide stops about 7" from th' tips, covering only th' bending portions of th' limbs. It pulls 35 pounds at 26". Ostrich skin grip and very narrow, sinew wrapped nocks for low outer limb mass, which translates into a faster moving arrow.

Also i made another sinew backed recurve, also hackberry, 54" and pulling 58 pounds at 26"- tested draw at 30" for safety. Takes no visible set after two hours of shooting. Sinew, and proper tiller can do amazing things. 

Some more thoughts on arts and crafts. This bow was commissioned by Rob- he wanted it to pull 65 pounds. Can you handle a 65 pound bow i asked him. Of course i can he says. Well, me and him have th' same length arms, so that helps with tillering, as i can just make it fit me- Rob is also quite a bit stockier than me, but i know most guys want a bow that's too strong for them. Just because you can pull it back doesn't mean you can pull it back comfortably, and repeatedly, which is essential for accuracy. So i made this bow to pull 58 pounds at 26 inches. Here's th' satisfied customer pulling his bow to 24", as far as he could wrestle it. Better build up them archery muscles Rob.

Rob asks me, how long does it take you to build one of these. I don't know i say. A long time. What, he says, like maybe 65 hours, 100 hour, 120? Yeah, something like that i'd guess, i tell him. Sinew backed bows take almost twice as long as non backed ones. So with your time and what i'm paying you about three dollars and thirty three cents an hour. You said it Rob. Craftsmen make things because they love to, not to get rich. 

Which leads me to another thought- I've been selling things at th' farmers markets for a while now, charging $15 for a wooden eating spoon. More than once people have said to me "if i was rich i'd buy one of those, they are so beautiful"- One of these people is a friend of mine- he has a "buy local" and "support local small business" stickers on his car. I'm not pickin on ya, i'm just saying, What? - Nine times out of ten people will then go and spend twelve to fifteen dollars on some beer that will gone tomorrow. Or order something just barely cheaper that was made in china. We really need to rethink our priorities over here. I wonder what people in the oriental nations think of us? They make all their own stuff and most of our stuff too. They must think, wow, those "developed" people can't even take care of themselves, and yet there is such a superiority complex around that we are somehow better than th' rest of th' world. Hmmm. 

These are just things i think about- I'm really not trying to get anyone to do anything, you must reach your own conclusions- but we can't buy self sufficiency, or th' peace that comes along with it. So grab a tool- make something, of if you need something you can't make, have someone you know make it- it'll be worth so much more than you'll pay.

Here's a few more recent projects

leather bill fold

maple cooking spoon, left handed
milk painted shave horse
silver maple eating spoons.

Well, that's all for now, see ya soon. ~Rico

1 comment:

Joel said...

Lots of lovely work Rico. I likes those bows you make, the ones with sinew particularly. I know it's hard to see sinew when glued on! But just the thought of all that work is impressive and reminescent of the skills needed to do this. Beauties you should be proud of my friend.