Friday, March 27, 2009

Family Heirloom Height Marker

Since our little one's birth back in Semptember, my wife's been keeping a record of his height and weight changes in a scrapbook. When I was growing up, my parents marked my growth on the side of a door frame in our home, but when we moved, the doorframe obviously stayed behind. After making the Historic Passamaquoddy Replica paddle as a family heirloom, my wife came up with an idea of using it to mark our son's growth progress.

Generally, I decorate only one side of the paddle and leave the natural grain to show on the other side. This one has some funky figured grain as well as a hint of heartwood on the right edge. The fact that I had oiled this paddle rather than sealing with varnish was a plus as well because one can add pyrography burnings to an oiled surface but not a varnished one without chemically stripping it first.

To get a nice clean centre line, a metal straight-edge was clamped to the paddle and the line burned with a high temperature flow point. This would eventually be marked off in one inch intervals to serve as the height gauge.

Clamped edge; Center line burned

As a bit of an extra addition, I scanned my little one's hands and feet and used Photoshop to convert the image to get a black and white photocopy effect.

Original scanned feet; Photoshopped version

These were then used as templates and burned onto the blade area so now we have a nice visual record of his pudgy extremities. Sort of wished we had done this at birth but better late than never. Here are some closeup shots of the blade and the paddle as it stands now...

Handprints & Footprints at 4 1/2 months

Blade with his birth weight; The Whole Paddle ready for years of growth

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful idea! I've just made a few paddles myself and have a little one, that made my heart melt..

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