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Celestial Octopus Art on Saw Blade

I ended up calling this piece ‘Let Me Check My Calendar.’ Though I finished the engraving last fall, I installed it last weekend, as the clients weren’t back at their Homer house until then.

It’s the first saw blade engraving I’ve made in a while. They were my bread and butter in the North Carolina mountains. It seemed like there was a sawmill over every hill and I brought several sawmill saw blades with me when I moved back to Alaska.

They liked the ‘Early Risers’ piece they’d seen in our gallery and asked for an octopus design. I’d been looking forward to making some octopus art, having made a design for a giant Pacific octopus wrapped around a whale skull a year or two earlier.

I got started and came up with a circular octopus drawing that fit the round shape of the saw blade. I was excited by their request for me to work the sun and moon into the drawing after they saw the initial octopus design.

It morphed from being aquatic to celestial. They are both attorneys, so I thought ‘Let Me Check My Calendar’ might be appropriate.

It was so good to see it on the wall. The natural light from the two stair windows provides perfect viewing of the saw blade art from the living space, and a walk up the stairs shows its changing character as you pass by.

I love the character of old saw blades, particularly sawmill blades. The cam-shaped openings around the blade edge have a pleasing design, and the broken spines speak to its use and history. The pitted texture makes the colors darker, but in this case, adds to the deep space feel of the art.

At 105 pounds, the blade is a heavy piece. The solid sound of the impact driver was reassuring as I sent each structural lag screw home through the Baltic Birch plywood back panel. I then secured the blade with steel mirror-style clips bolted into T-nuts anchored into the back.

As the owner said, if the house is broken into, that’s one thing that isn’t going anywhere.

I’ve got a number of original engravings for sale in the gallery and online if you want to check them out.


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