About Me

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I am an artist working in Water Color, Oils, Glass and wood in North Central Indiana. I enjoy Plein Aire work the most but often find myself in the studio during the winter when the weather is less than desirable for working on location. I have always been an artist, memories of drawing are some of my oldest. My early influence came from looking at old magazine covers done by Norman Rockwell. Later I discovered the photography of Edward Curtis as he had struggled to capture the American Indians of the Southwest before that culture completely disappeared. then I found Andrew Wyeth and knew what I wanted to paint. The Egg Tempera and Water Color Paintings of Andrew Wyeth were simply wonderful and I was forever committed to painting the rural landscape and those that live there. It was then I realized I would never again see the land as I had before I painted it. Soon after it was Winslow Homer and his Water Colors that kept feeding my interest in this medium and a traditional approach to my art. While I left the life as a professional artist for a time I find my return to it at this point in my life refreshing. Life is a journey and I am turning towards home. Mike Yazel

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Something different

  Here is a little diversion from painting but artistic never the less. This is the front of a "Bible Box" I am making for one of the living history events I do each year. These boxes were used to keep important items such as the family bible and other documents in the household from the early 1600's through the mid to late 1700's. You can see finished ones on my website at www.theironram.com. I try and make these boxes as true to the originals as I can which means all of the surfaces are handplaned, dovetails are laid out and cut by hand and I forge the hinges in my blacksmith shop. This particular box has a Tulip motif on it and this varies from box to box depending on what I feel like doing or a customer desires but I do stick to the traditional designs of the period I am working in. This one is made from Black Walnut that we sawed here on the farm while others might be Oak, Sassafras, Tulip Poplar, Pine or other wood someone desires.
  Well here is the front with one side pretty well carved and the other just laid out so you can see where I start. I just draw these on freehand as I find it to be the the best way to get the look I am after. I like to work in the traditions of the period I am trying to emulate.

Now we will go through a few pictures as the carving progresses.

And a little more....

Now the finished front panel for the box.

Thanks for taking a look and hope you enjoy seeing how some of the work I do progresses from beginning to end. I will post pictures of this box as it is finished up later this week. If I get things set up I will try and get some of the forging process for the hinges too which might be interesting for some. Thanks for looking, have a great day!

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