Monday, October 25, 2010

A Project Left Undone

After my Dad passed away last year, I found it very painful to enter his basement workshop.  (And still do.)  You see, it's just as he left it.  The last few months before he entered the hospital/nursing home, his knees gave him such trouble that he couldn't get up and down the stairs anymore.  Therefore, there were a lot of projects left undone.

Twins Back in the 1990s, my Dad was a serious carver.  His specialty was little Santas called Tomtes.  He had a couple of carving buddies and they traded patterns and carving books and they all made the same projects.  My dad would make the blanks on his jig saw.  There's still a huge hunk of bass wood (about three feet tall and 8-9 inches square) in the garage.

One of the projects the buddies did back in 1993 was hunting dogs.  A LOT of them.  My dad gave me one of them, which has been on my shelf for years.  After he passed, I found a whole box of unfinished dogs and one small finished one. I asked my mother why Dad never finished the dogs and she said he got bored with them.  He prefered to carve people--characters.  ( I prefer to write about them!)

Box of dogs

I brought the box home and asked Mr. Lorna (who has a steadier hand and is a painter in his own right), if he'd paint them for me.  He was reluctant to do so.  In fact, they sat on his desk for more than six months gathering dust.

So I decided to finish them myself. (Here are three in various states of completion, which my Dad did.)

Various states of completion

Thank goodness for white paint.  If I mess up, I can cover up and start again.  So far, I've only finished one dog (because he was almost done anyway).  But I've given two others noses and eyes, so at least they aren't blind with no sense of smell anymore.

Unfinished dogs

(The little guy on the left still has his rough edges.  Not sure I want to tackle actually carving him, but we'll see.)

Dad finished dogs

(The above are two my Dad finished.  They're my guide.)

I'm going to take on this project slowly because I don't want to mess them up.

I'm not sure what I'll do with them all when I'm done.  I'm reluctant to give them away to family and friends because I'm not sure anyone would love them as much as I do.

First, I need to finish them.  Then we'll see about (maybe) finding them new homes.

Have you ever taken on a project someone left unfinished?