Go Big Because You Are Finally Home

I’ve been trying do justice to my favorite tree muse, the Angel Oak is St. John’s Island, for over 12 years. I started the original painting and kept second guessing myself over and over. I finally painted over the entire mess this spring and moved on.

With seven family members I wanted to make functional, beautiful art to display their achievements. So I painted this version on cork board.

It is still a work in progress and I will post the final product when it is completed.

Angel oak painTing on cork board by rachel winner

Angel oak painTing on cork board by rachel winner

My First Spin

My First Spin

I have wanted to try and own a woodturning lathe for decades and today was the day! Happy Birthday too me, thanks baby! I am sure I am making a million rookie mistakes but how else are you going to learn if you don’t try? I also just joined my local woodturning guild to learn from my local masters. It is more satisfying and rewarding than I ever imagined. I cannot wait to see what designs my wackadoodle brain will come up with as I become more skilled and comfortable with the art form. This is just a practice piece and experiment to see if the ancient reclaimed lumber can be used as my media. About one hour into turning the old lumber gave out with two huge spectacular chunks flew out of the piece. I am sure if I more skilled it wouldn’t have happened…life goals!

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Tree Glitter Tuesday!

Trench bowls are made by scoping out the insides like a pumpkin. Sounds simple but in reality it can be quite a challenge. Woodcarvers achieve this by using chisels by making repeated gouges until the desired depth and shape is achieved. That is simply not humanly possible for me to do with my reclaimed southern yellow long leaf pine that was mulled over 200 years ago and is well on its way to becoming stone!

My special sauce is to de-bulk the main channel in the middle with a Ryobi router and then complete the final shape using a Saburrtooth grinding bit on my drill press. If you do deduce to try my method please use extreme care and caution while using the Saburrtooth bit!!! Always wear gloves and still expect to be missing some skin and or be bruised before your project is over!

Let the Tree glitter fly when I debulk a trench bowl using Ryobi's router.

Saburrtooth, The Best Investment I Have Made In A Tool

Saburrtooth, The Best Investment I Have Made In A Tool

I don’t think I have to describe how amazing @saburrtooth burrs are but I will.  I work with reclaimed long-leaf yellow pine lumber that was milled in 1830.  Air dried with sap and resin. Almost 200 years later it is well on its way to turning into stone.  The sap and resin pockets destroy every other brand of burr or sanding I have tried.  Not @saburrtooth!  If the burr ever does get clogged, all I have to do is use a propane torch to burn off the resin and sawdust...right back to work.  I’ve used this same burr for 2 years now and it still melts the wood like butter.  Best tool investment I have ever made.  I also have their angle grinder disk and multiple smaller burrs for my dremel.  Made in the USA, in Michigan about an hours drive from my passed grandfather’s home where I learned how to woodwork. Love these tools and this company!!

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FOUND! Judge R.L. Waddill's Correspondence to Governor E.M. Pease

I just cannot stop researching the history connected to the wood I am using.  I have found the actually handwriting of Judge R.L. Waddill!  The wood I am working with was salvaged from his home that was built in 1855. 

This letter is a part of the collection entitled: Niles-Graham-Pease Papers provided by Austin History Center, Austin Public Library to The Portal to Texas History that is hosted by the UNT Libraries. 

This is a letter to Governor E.M. Pease from R.L. Waddill regarding murder indictments for several men not in custody—he suggests that a reward should be offered for the men—and accompanying indictments.

Correspondence to Governor EM Pease from RL Waddill.jpg

Walrus Oil Strikes Again!

Thanks so much for the shout out on Woman's Day! 


After grinding exclusively in the woodworking industry for the past year I have to honestly say that I have been accepted more into this male dominated industry than other male dominated industries.   

 I have truly appreciated all of the working relationships I have established so quickly and the acceptance of my perspective on the craft. 



Walrus Oil Shoutout

It is my only hope in life that my art pieces are only ever conditioned by Walrus Oil.  No, it is not made from Walrus. They just like the animal. 

 After so many trials and fails with too many other products I finally found an oil that doesn't blow out the color of my boards and conditions them beautifully.  

 Thanks for the Brickhouse shout out today guys!  I will be laughing about this one for awhile!