jbowerengraving jbowerengraving

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JBowerEngraving  ✨Hand Engraver/Artist/Geek/Car Crazy ✨Blog contributor for craftsmanslegacy.com ✨All photos are mine (unless noted)

For #handtoolthursday I submit the largest caliper I’ve ever engraved. It was made by the Union Tool Company and it belongs to the immensely talented @ashleyharwoodturning. The background of the photo is an Acacia platter Ashley turned (which is basically ginormous and amazing). As you know, woodturners should not wear jewelry, for safety reasons, but who says their tools can’t be all blinged out?! #blingbling
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#woodworking #vintagetool #byhand #woodturning #maker #makermade #makersmovement #custommade #hands #workinprogress

#TBT to summertime and my Wagoneer, Leo Marvin. Gosh darn, I love this old beast ❤️ #jennygotherdreamcar
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#jeep #wagoneer #grandwagoneer #jeeplife #wagon #woody #getoutside #adventureawaits #carlove #cargirl #jeepgirl #northernmichigan #gtliving

This caliper said she wanted to be fancy so how could I say no? A work-in-progress hand engraved design inspired by the lantern I’m working on because sometimes art inspires art and then leads to more art. #workwithyourhands .
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#makersmovement #handtools #metalart #workinprogress #metalworking #woodworking #tool #vintagetool #patina #contrast

I promised I’d periodically give you a peek as I explore ideas for some paper lantern panels. Late last night some sketches started to take shape. I’m often envious of mechanically minded people who easily visualize in their minds how gears align and how things go together. My mind doesn’t work that way. Similarly with art, my process is definitely one that evolves throughout a project, it’s rare that I visualize a finished design in my head. However, as I process and work, the ideas form. Some get erased, some get filed away for another time and some make excellent crumpled up fire starter. The destination of these ideas has yet to be determined, but it’s what’s happening today in my studio...and the more I sketch, the more I kinda want to engrave something with these Japanese maple leaves because I think it would have such a delicate feel. #workwithyourhands #create

Panels shown are pieces of a larger lantern framework made by @monfortstudio. Progress of the build is shown on his page
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#illustration #design #workinprogress #process #beinspired #woodworking #makersgonnamake #artist

It’s #worldkindnessday and I just opened the last box of saws sent as donations for a local woodworking instructor. There are enough saws for each student with a couple to spare. Initially, I put out the request hoping a company might donate a few saws and instead it was followers who instantly replied, “How can I donate a saw?” This coming weekend I’ll be delivering them to his class and I’m so excited to do so because I know they will be used by students interested in learning traditional wood working and by an instructor who truly enjoys teaching. I was smiling this big with every box opening because I’m truly moved by the fact that strangers were so generous. It doesn’t take much to show kindness and encouragement to someone else. It doesn’t have to be grandiose, maybe it’s just buying someone’s lunch or giving away that extra tool that’s been sitting on your bench to someone who could use it. Be obvious or be anonymous, but find a way to pay some kindness forward today, it’s time well spent ❤️ #payitforward

A special thank you to @shorelinewoodworks, @vanettenbuild, @mf_woodbutcher, @markmayerwoodworks, and the anonymous individuals who contributed saws or the funds to purchase them.
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#kindness #community #woodworking #handtools #dowhatmatters #makersmovement #give

This morning my desk is as clean as it has ever been because I’m unboxing something very delicate and fragile. I’ve been on the fence about sharing this moment and this project, but I think it’s a good opportunity to peel back a curtain and talk openly about something I think a lot of artists struggle with: fear.
These pieces are for a Kumiko lantern being made by a very talented woodworker. They are just a portion of a stunning panel that will be backed with Japanese paper. The craftsman asked me to pen illustrations onto the paper panels. When we initially discussed it, I had no idea how lovely and intricate these panels would be. When I peeked in the box, I had a bit of inner panic. Ok, a lot bit of inner panic.
I’ve never made illustrations for panels. I’m scared to even touch the paper because it’s so pristine. What if my ideas absolutely don’t work or fit? Basically a flood of bad thoughts.

We then talked about the project and the reason he didn’t give me specific direction, he wanted me to be able to create some ideas without limitations. Wow. That’s a lot of trust.
I’m not sharing this story for a pat on the back or a “you can do it,” I’m sharing it just to say, sometimes we creatives don’t have it all together. There’s a lot of reflective questioning happening, and for me, for a long time, that questioning ended saying, “Sorry, I can’t do that,” not even knowing if I could or couldn’t, but being too fearful of failure to try.

Truth be told, what I create may not be the right fit and the maker could still decide to leave plain paper panels, which would look wonderful. And, if that happens, that’s ok. However, a weird shift happened over night in me from fear to excitement because it might just turn out to be something unique that I never expected to take part in.

I share it to say, take a breath. Maybe don’t say no right away. Know your limitations but also reevaluate them from time to time. Know it’s ok to fail but it’s also ok to push yourself beyond what you think you might be capable of.
I will keep you posted and be 100% honest in the outcome, whether my designs are used or not.
#workwithyourhands #handcrafted #maker #woodworking #artist

@makestuffwithyourhands asked me to hand engrave initials onto some pocket coins he made. Back when I first began to engrave, I wanted to create an ornamental script that had the feel of an old font but was completely my own. These are two letters from that font. The knife shown by the coins was also made by Jim several years ago for me. It’s one I use nearly everyday and was given permission to engrave however I wanted. The stones have a wonderful feel to them, just like the knife. So much of a maker is reflected in his or her work. It’s always an honor to me to be trusted to add to something made with such care. #workwithyourhands
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#makersmovement #knifemaker #blacksmith #handmade #custommade #metalcraft #metalart #handtool

It’s a snowing outside my window, making things seem very black and white, much like the contrast of my hand engravings in these these old patinas. One of my favorite parts of process is in the quiet time sketching designs. #workwithyourhands
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#maker #handtools #workbench #blackandwhite #artist

Oiling up my bench so it can start being used inside the house. Gotta get it all finished up and out of the shop because I may or may not be making a side chair next week 😬 #workwithyourhands .
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#finishing #workinprogress #workshop #maker #handmade #woodworking #makersmovement #diy

The completed plaque I was working on in yesterday’s video clip. This will go onto a desk a Dad is making for his daughter. He sent a hand written message that I hand engraved into the brass and added a little bit of fancy flair to the corner. As the holidays begin to approach I’m getting that warm and fuzzy feeling thinking about homemade, handcrafted gifts. Are you planning to make any gifts for others this year? #workwithyourhands
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#handmade #sign #custom #metalwork #byhand #maker #makersmovement

There is something extra special sweet about a Daddy and daughter bond. This morning I carved a floral design onto a plaque for a special build from a Daddy to his little girl. I also hand engraved the Dad’s handwriting into the metal. It will hopefully be a piece that lasts a long time and is a special memory for the daughter to look back on one day. #workwithyourhands .
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#byhand #handlettered #maker #makermonday #metalart #slowandsteady

In high school classes, I was very quiet. A kid came up to me in an art class once and said, “You know everyone calls you ‘Business’ behind your back because you’re so serious and focused.” Well, Tim, not much has changed. ‘Business’ and her ginormous fall sweater are getting things done today. #InTheZone #focus #WorkWithYourHands
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#workbench #workshop #maker #byhand #handtools #diy #metalwork #metalart #womenintrades

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