Oh my! This is Abby’s new toy – a scroll saw. She saved her pocket money for weeks and weeks, and on Saturday morning headed off to Hare and Forbes Machinery with Julian to make the grand purchase. Even Fu was enamoured with this marvellous toy! And the best way to spend my birthday Sunday – why it was watching, helping, encouraging and celebrating Abby’s amazing persistence and skill as she set about carving her own wooden toys.
There I sat, in the shade, her Owl sweater on my needles, watching with sheer delight as she and Julian worked it out. First they drew straight lines … then curved lines … then angles … Abby doggedly cut and adjusted and improved her technique for over three hours. Yes, my wee perfectionist was determined to get it right, but also, there was a lovely and gracious acceptance – possibly for the first time in her life! – that when we try new things, skills will come slowly and only after much practice and patience. It was the perfect birthday present for this mama.
Eventually she felt confident enough to explore the possibilities of the cookie cutter collection (see Jules! I told you that collecting in excess of 100 cookie cutters was not a waste! ). First a simple duck, then a pig, then a rabbit …
By mid afternoon, she was ready to try her own designs … along with much thicker wood and different styles of blades! She wants to make characters that emulate the design of Ostheimer – profile shapes with bevelled edges (my use of the word bevelled is completely amateur so just insert the right one should you know what I mean ;-) – so Julian also showed her how to use the Dremel for adding extra dimension.
She drew her doll, traced it onto the wood, and slowly, slowly cut – Julian by her side, offering encouragement. It was AMAZING! Look at the detail of the hair! In and out, in and out she went.
There was only a brief halt to activities for dinner, and then it was back to the painting. Unlike me, who whacked the paint on my simplistic little farm girl as quickly as I could – making a few messes along the way – Abby waited patiently for each coat to dry before adding the next colour or detail.
And now she has this gorgeous doll! As well as a long list of other characters, animals, objects and dreams she would like to draw out of wood. I’m in awe of my fifteen year old girlchild-woodworker. Awe! Who knows where this new skill and passion will take her!? It will be such a delight to see.
As I said, best birthday present ever.