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Friday, September 23, 2011

Thinking in terms of techniques, not categories

In case you're puzzled by the title of this post, here's what it means. A lot of scroll saw projects are viewed as categories of projects--intarsia, puzzles, inlay, and so forth. Although there's nothing wrong with projects that fit neatly into these categories, I find it much more exciting when they can be used as elements of a larger project.

For example, intarsia can be used to make a different and exciting lid for a box, as can inlay. The hamsa box in a previous post is an illustration of the use of inlay for a box cover. I've just created a bread board that looks like a braided challah, whose pieces were cut with attention to the grain, as you would do with intarsia, even though the edges were only rounded, not deeply shaped. Several of the box projects in my new book use stacked rings as a technique to create lips for lids, thus avoiding the need for a router.

As I continue to develop new projects, I'm finding that the more techniques I am familiar with, the more options I have available to me. Best of all, the projects defy categorization, and present themselves primarily as attractive projects that make people ask "how did you do that?"

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