Here’s another great figural nutcracker I picked up that I gave to my wife for Christmas.
These seem to get classified as a gnome and sometimes as Santa. Since this one was a Christmas gift, it’s a Santa in our house.
As you can see in the photos, he had some condition issues. The most obvious was a chunk missing from the bottom of his beard. He also had some small chips here and there, but was generally in really good shape.
The restoration went very well and the new finish really shows off the carved details.
Thanks for looking.
Stay tuned, more great pieces are on the way!
Here’s a great example of a figural Pirate nutcracker.
Picked him up on Ebay. He had some condition issues (chipped lip, chipped handle, and various dings in the face). Looks like he was dropped or the family dog got to it and carried it around in its mouth a little.
I originally bought this one to fix up and sell, but the wife fell in love with it after it was done so looks like he’s going in our collection. Oh darn!
I really do like how this one came out. The darker stain really makes this a better piece.
See the before and after photos below:
Stay tuned, more great pieces to come!
Hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Years!
We had a great Christmas and I have big plans for 2015. Not spoiling the surprise or cursing myself by letting the cat out of the bag too soon. though. So you’ll have to stay tuned as things progress.
In the meantime, here’s a great piece we just added to our personal collection. We bought this piece some time ago off of ebay. We got it pretty reasonable because it was damaged.
I was fortunate recently to have time to concentrate on fixing its ears, put a new finish on it, and make a custom base for it. See my previous Blog post “It’s all about the base” to see how the base was made. Since I was able to secretly get everything done before Christmas, I wrapped it and surprised Missy by adding it to her pile of Christmas gifts this year.
As always, be sure to click on the photos for a larger up close view of them.
Ebay has been good to me lately, so stay tuned for more great pieces!
All my Nutcracker bases are hand made and hand fitted to each piece. Bases are very important. They not only allow you to display your nutcracker proudly, but safely as well.
The ebay elves have been really really good to me lately so I have a few new pieces being added to the collection and coming up for sale soon that need bases made. I can’t show the new pieces yet because all are in process of being restored, but I can show the work that goes into creating the custom bases I make.
The wooden base part is first cut out on the band saw. I now have templates made from thinner wood so I don’t have to steal a base from our nutcracker collection (like you see in the picture) every time I need to trace and cut a new one. The bases below are already cut out and ready to be ground to shape. I use an angle grinder with a 60 grit flapwheel to make short work of hand shaping each base so they are contoured and look worn.
*Note – The nutcracker bases pictured are being made from Black Walnut because that’s what I had on hand. Any 1/2 inch thick wood will work.
Here’s a picture of the bases after they’ve been ground to shape and sanded smooth.
Every nutcracker presents its own challenges regarding how the wire needs to be shaped and where it’s going to support the nutcracker. Some can wrap around while others have to be made to fit up under the chin by slipping in from the back. The one I’m making here will slip in the back and support the piece under the chin.
Here’s a picture of the nutcracker stand assembled and waiting for final sanding. Holes are drilled and the shaped wire is simply epoxied into the base. When I fit everything, I make sure the nutcracker will rest about 1/4 inch above the base. That keeps the center of gravity low and reduces the risk of the piece being easily knocked over. The globs of epoxy around the wire are sanded flat once it’s cured and hard enough to sand.
Here’s the final shot of the stand all painted and drying on the bench. I simply use flat black spray paint. I usually shoot it once, sand it with 400 grit, and shoot it again. That smooths out some of the grain and makes for a durable finish.
So there you have it. That’s how I make the custom bases for the nutcrackers in my collection and for the ones I sell.
Here’s the excerpt from the Museum Diary site:
“The Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum shows over 6,000 nutcrackers dating back to Roman times. There are many types of nutcrackers made of many different materials, from stone to fragile ivory. Not only antique nutcrackers are shown, but also the popular wooden toy soldiers from Germany. Karl, [their] 6 foot museum beer drinking museum ambassador, was carved in Oberammergau by the late Karl Rappl.” The museum also has a dedicated website for children.
Link to article = http://museumdiary.com/2014/12/05/top-5-museums-to-visit-at-christmas-time/
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!
We got to spend time with family. We spent Thanksgiving at my mom and dad’s house, had a great turkey dinner, watched the parade, and watched old home movies my Grandfather made of all of us and my cousins. Everyone got a kick out of seeing everyone in their younger years and got a good laugh at how chubby of a baby I was. Yep, I was a bit of a Butterball.
As I get older, I’m realizing how important times like these are in a person’s life and how much I’m going to miss them someday. Days like I had yesterday are what memories are made of.
I hope everyone had as nice of a Thanksgiving as we did.
Here’s a great example of a screw type nutcracker.
This one had no handle and had been applied to a piece of furniture or something. The hole for the screw had been plugged and dowels and screw holes were in the feet and body.
So after some time spent at the carving bench and some time spent on ye ol’ mini lathe, this guy is back to his original glory as a nutcracker.
I really enjoy bringing a piece back to its original form and glory.