Tuesday, May 11, 2010

acorn + Dremel

I've wanted a Dremel for a long time for two specific purposes:

(1) to precisely grind glaze troubles on pottery


(2) to carve out little acorn vessels.

My sweet mum gave me birthday money specifically earmarked for said tool...which drifted elsewhere as cash-in-the-pocket tends to do.

Friday Nathan picked one up for me while erranding and needing something to use a Lowe's/Discover Card returns gift card on.

Five little acorns transformed.
One hefty blister (I need to work on my technique).
Only one broken attachment (oops).
Lots of vacuuming (I need to work outside. Hey rain: STOP ALREADY!!)
This photo cracks me up because the subjects were so urban scavenged: I took the acorns from a pile of yard waste at Marian's dance teacher's house and the birch branch from our dentist's office pruning pile. I think this means I am awesome.

Make your own!
(or, not being an acorn-saver and this being not acorn season, or Dremel-less, buy one from Becci)

Step one: Slice off the pointy end of the acorn. I keep the flat end so the finished acorn can stand, even though this yields a botanically inaccurate wee vessel.Step two: Dig out the nut. A much easier endeavor if you are careful in step one to slice at a point before the acorn wall begins to taper. Marian was not working on one of the easy ones.Step three: Sand out the velvet. Or not. It's very lovely and soft, but rather messy--a pile of fuzzy innards more than a nice cohesive lining.Step four: Carve a bit of sweetness. I thought I wanted plain vessels until I started carving hearts. And then I couldn't stop. Tried a star, too, which became a butterfly.

Step five: Find a cap to fit (You will probably need one from a bigger acorn, as the caps curl in a bit as they dry. I sanded mine a bit to help).

Step six: Decide on the best staging.


(Marian: "Now I have to throw away this gumball because it got all fuzzy!" I stopped shy of sanding all the velvet out because the acorn wall was getting awfully thin. Relative merits are something to consider.)

Marian and I started a better-with-the-Dremel horse craft, too, though I need to master my belt sander a bit more for success. We'll get details up on I'm a Craft Artist soon, because she's been missing being famous (her words) and thus feeling more blog-friendly these days.


Reagan said...

those are awesome! i would have had a collection when i was little for sure. so fun for your kids to help you with them.

thank you so much for your comment. your story is very special and I'm sorry you are going through so much. i'm very impressed with your seemingly positive attitude. it's good for you, it's good for your kids and it's good for your loved ones. keep it up. let's be friends. i think you're wonderful.

stgraham said...

I want some!! I have a Dremel, but alas, no acorns. Do you have a few to share? I haven't had a good craft fix in a while, but now that I am back from vacation, I am ready to get busy.

nweames said...

I don't just want the dremmel I want the acorns. They are fabulous! What a fun way project.

Pen and Paperie said...

I got a Dremel as a birthday present a couple of years ago and I love it...I use it often. But no acorns...these wee houses are so very cute!! I wonder what other tiny vessels could be carved?

vfg said...

I'm thinking pecans next. Or walnuts, with a bit of leather for a hinge, perhaps...?

Snippety Gibbet said...

Good night, that acorn is huge! I thought it was regular Virginia size until I saw it in Miriam's hands. Wow! I need to pull my Dremel out. It's been years since it was a bright and shiny new toy that I used often....for a while. jan

Lisa said...

Brigham and I are very impressed with your darling acorns! It's been awhile since I checked your (along with anyone else's) blogs - I love that Marian got to camp overnight, and that you got to go with her! And, I'm so so so happy that Reuben is healthy - he's so big and covered in hair and fuzz!

Mindy said...


Braden said...

I did not even know one coudl do such a thing. I can imagine the girls must love those.