How To Sculpt Wood Burls with Sculpting Epoxy

How To Sculpt Wood Burls with Sculpting Epoxy

If you’re sculpting faux burls similar to those found in nature and looking for a way to add some magic to your creation. This article and how to video will show you how to create faux wood burls quick out of sculpting epoxy.

Mounted chainsaw carved wooden mushrooms on the fairy house.

Chainsaw carved wooden mushrooms 

on the fairy house is to give scale to the size of the fairies and fury creatures that are living here. This is to allow you to envision by the scale of the mushrooms, flowers, and ivy leaves why the other critters are the size they are. This video is the part two, so you can watch the post before this one to see Billy chainsaw carving and using the makita grinder with the lancelot carving disc to give the wooden mushroom it's texture.


Mounted Wooden Chainsaw Carved Mushrooms

Couldn't you see with some added foliage what you could create.  How about some faery creatures you would find in Brian Froud Faery books. Maybe some bunnies, squirrels, and birds hanging around. Maybe a flying hedge hog sitting on the limb around the fairy house window. Don't forget to add some leaves or flowers to help your critters blend into their environment. These chainsaw carved mushrooms gives you a place to use your imagination and add your own whimsical flair. Take the time to watch the short video of the mounted chainsaw carved wooden mushrooms and you will see how these mushrooms could be used in a multitude of ways. Billy Dillard, the Arthur, designer,  builder talks briefly about the mounted chainsaw carved mushrooms and if you have a project that your wanting to start but don't know what materials to use or how to even get started to contact him to get going on your project.

So if your ready to get started or not quite ready because you have questions that needs answers about your theme design or best products to use, how to use them, please do not hesitate to contact me. I'm happy to answer any of your questions.

Fernie Brae Gallery

The place to be if you're looking for anything fairy.

Fernie Brae Gallery

The faeries leading me to the Fernie Brae Gallery. If the owner- instructor at Design Lite Studio in Portland, Oregon, only knew what path she would be sending the Head Tinker down by giving him the fantastic book by Brian Froud, “Good Faeries, Bad Faeries”. Well, if she reads this she will!

This magical path the head tinker travels, with its twist and turns, has and continues to be full of surprises and so far only good ones to report. Life can be extremely interesting and can have you wondering at times are there other paths that exist that we either don’t know or don’t wish to acknowledge.

You may enter this world accidently or possibly intentionally which could take you down paths you never imagined traveling. This seems to be the scenario happening of late with the Head Tinker.

When given “Good Faeries”, the Head Tinker first thought was to look at the pictures for inspiration and reference material for adding a little more magic to the enchanted fairy house he is building. Once going through the book, he decided to read a bit of the book. Thank goodness he did!

Brian Frouds way of writing is nothing short of magical all by itself, without mention of the beautiful pictures of his art work in this timeless classic book about good and, oh by the way, bad faeries as well.

Brian’s work has opened an amazing world — a new world for the head tinker. The book is indeed exactly what was needed. Brian’s work is amazing. Did I say that already? Well it’s worthy of repeating!

While doing an online assignment for the Head Tinker’s class, he ran across a site that had mentioned Brian Froud’s work with a link to his website along with another link to Fernie Brae Gallery in Portland, Oregon. That grabbed the head tinker’s attention! Portland, Oregon, fantastic! The Head Tinker could go visit this gallery, the Fernie Brae.

Have you ever looked forward to going to a new place and were so excited only to get there and be totally disappointed? That was not the case at Fernie Brae Gallery. The Head Tinker knew as soon as he walked into the door that this was exactly where he wanted to be!

The Fernie Brae is not only a gallery, but a gallery totally devoted to everything faery. The gallery carries a fantastic selection of books of Brian’s along with other incredible artists in their own rights. Once you walk into the gallery, you will see something enchanting in each nook and cranny. The Head Tinker was on a mission, a mission of fantastical discovery. The gallery is loaded with subjects to study for inspiration while being surrounded by a variety of enchanted mystical works of art from one of a kind art pieces to mystical sculptured faery creatures.

Wendy Froud is one of the artists displaying some of her wonderful figurative sculptures. Wendy’s ability to catch all the minute detail is nothing short of miraculous! This lady’s work is breathtaking. She has captured elements of the faery realm with intimate knowledge of her faery subjects. The materials chosen for clothing are anything but mundane. The textures flow, changing from one element to another. Oh wouldn’t it be nice to know her secrets of how she made the choices of fabrics, how to cut and fit the pieces to create the look for her creations which draw you into the world of faery.

The Head Tinker was so inspired by Wendy’s work, and other artists work there at Fernie Brae Gallery that he now intends to incorporate some of his own magical, mystical creatures of fantasy into the work of the enchanted fairy house.

The Head Tinker also took notice of other very interesting pieces of art only to find out that the work is by Toby Froud, Brian and Wendy Frouds’ son. The Head Tinker thought how nice it would be to sit down and chat with Toby since he lives in Portland. That experience could open up a whole new road to travel or rabbit whole hole to go down depending on how you perceive things.

The beautiful hand crafted jewelry was a big hit with the Head Tinker’s wife, you know faeries love shiny objects especially when there are vibrant colors intertwined in the mix. She didn’t leave Fernie Brae Gallery empty handed, maybe a little less coin but what is coin for if you can’t have things your heart desires?

If you are fortunate enough to make it to Fernie Brae Gallery in Portland, make sure you slow yourself down mentally enough to really take in this wonderful gallery for everything faery. If you are looking for miniature faery houses you will find them here also. The artist John Crawford really did a fantastic job of creating his whimsical yet very well made miniature faery house dwellings where faeries would love to call home. When you look at them, it may have you pondering how many countless hours did John poor out to make these delightful pieces of art. He certainly doesn’t cut any corners in his creations.

The Head Tinker plans to go back and spend more time to check out the different artist’s work displayed at Fernie Brae and if you love anything and everything faery, “Fernie Brae” is the road to faery. He hopes that you will get the chance to visit this very unique gallery as well.

Head Tinker signing off

Enchanted Forest Inspiration

Enchanted Forest here in Oregon is a great destination for inspiration.

Humpty Dumpty

The head tinker loves Enchanted Forest for this reason along with others. He is inspired by everything at this magical place! Sometimes you have to just get close to something magical to get your imagination flowing again.

After close observation, he noticed moss and ferns growing in some unusual places, roof fascia boards, the top of faux rock walls, and of course tree limbs, to name a few. This is most certainly a mystical hangout for fairies of many shapes and sizes.

Following the grand children and seeing the way they really got involved with the environment got the Head Tinker to notice how the parents stand back and watch as the children have fun. The rabbit hole was intriguing enough that the head tinker had to give it a try himself. So following the grand children, off he went; disappearing just like Alice disappeared down the rabbit hole! It didn’t take long to realize crawling along on the cement tunnel would be much more comfortable with some much needed knee pads! But, there was no stopping or backing out. The head tinker was committed and made it through, Yeah! The little ones make this tunnel look so easy and they can make it through at blazing speed.

While regaining composure the head tinker wondered when does it happen that grown-ups seem to lose their ability to have fun like the children. He hopes that will never happen to him. Why not have fun and enjoy yourself when the opportunities arise?

One of the incredible things the header tinker noticed was the ability of the man who created this fantasy paradise to use ordinary cement (that most the time you may not pay any attention to when you’re walking on it as a cement sidewalk, unless you don’t have it and you’re walking in mud) to create all the amazing storybook structures. The faux rock and the big beams created by carving the texture into the cement at the right moment to catch the detailed look the craftsman was after. This is truly a labor of love and if you really take time to look, you can see it.

Another great themed spot was the cave like atmosphere with the waterfalls falling from one little pond to the next. This is a place steeped in magic. It must have caused the creator a lot of sleepless nights figuring out the exact look the craftsman wanted. The head tinker knows from experience that your first, second, sometimes third plan goes through adjustments to come up with that magic look and feel you are after. What would it be like to be able to talk to this fellow? What stories would he have to convey? What were his biggest challenges? How many times did he feel like he bit off a little more than he could chew? Well, I know I’m glad he didn’t get discouraged and give up when things got tough. This man was able to build this wonderful place for current and future generations to come, to enjoy, to capture their imagination and to touch their hearts.

Thank goodness for his courage and determination to create this dynamic realm of enchantment. If you haven’t been to the Enchanted Forest just south of Salem, here in Oregon, mark out the time on your calendar and go get inspired, let the child in you explore and experience all that is there and awaken your relationship with cosmic forces at work at this mystical place.

Tree Spirits Home

Can you spot the perfect place where shy tree spirits might call their domain in this picture? Can’t you just imagine a family of tree spirits flittering around such dwellings found in nature?

The head tinker found some very important inspiration here. Now he knows what to do to finish off the Mason jar windows in his Enchanted Fairy House! You will have to check back in the near future to see how it turns out.

Tree Spirits Home

What a wonderful way to spend a day at the Enchanted Forest with three generations of our family and friends. The head tinker looks forward to the next time, when he will get to come back and spend time at this delightful place with enchanted dwellings and spiritual gifts of nature. His request is for you to take time and enjoy life!

Head Tinker signing off

Billy Bear

Stained Glass Window Installation

The flower fairy is so delighted to see the wonderful transformation.

Fairy house window

Fairy House Window

Take a look at the change that took place after the head tinker installed the stained glass flowers on the fairy house window. Finally, after months of Saturdays at Design Lite Studios in Portland Oregon working on the stained glass windows and flowers, the head tinker can see if what he created would live up to what he had envisioned.

Have you ever been working on a project and felt like you are in serious slow motion? Did you ever start doubting your decisions that led you to the point where you are?

The head tinker questioned how much more time and effort it would take to eventually lead to the transformation of the fairy house window. Sometimes even when you’re not sure what’s going to happen next in what you’re doing, you just have to take a leap of faith, and try. That day is here!

The head tinker is determined to install the stained glass flowers around the fairy house window and shock the flower fairy. After much thought on which would be the best way to achieve this task, the head tinker was off to the local hardware store to do some serious repurposing of acquired hardware. Next, it’s time to dive in and make things happen. The head tinker got his wishes granted; the magical power from the flower fairy is bestowed on him and the stained glass flowers bring the enchanted fairy house window to life

Stain Glass Flowers adorn fairy house window.


The particularly elusive, powerful gift of beautiful yet fragile stained glass flowers give a dramatic change from mundane to magical that the head tinker was searching for! The inhabitants who live here will have bright, beautiful flowers year round to enjoy when looking out the window. The flower fairy has indeed granted the magical gift needed to brighten this enchanted fairy house. So much so, that the head tinker now sees the risk was worth the reward and will add even more of these vibrant visual expressions from Mother Nature.


Head Tinker signing off.

Billy Dillard

Horrible Health Scare

Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Saves the Life of My “Little Helper”

What do I mean, you ask? Let me explain the events that happened to the Head Tinker’s Little Helper.

My Little Helper (my eldest granddaughter, “Mo”) came down with the ‘flu’ going around. Her mother (my loving daughter) did everything a good mother would know to do to care for Mo.

Mo would get better and then the fever would raise its ugly head again. After a couple of weeks of this, her dad (my fantastic son-in-law and a loving father) said, ‘Lets take Mo to the doctor.’ Thank goodness they did! Mo’s outside appearance didn’t match the severity of what was going on inside. X-rays showed a very ill little girl! Those x-rays showed one of her lungs was almost completely wrapped and obscured by a wall of unwanted fluid and infection.

The doctor immediately arranged for Mo to be admitted to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon. A tube was inserted through her side and into the wall of infection to allow the fluid to drain. Mo was in isolation for the first few days of her stay in the hospital room.

Mo spent a week in the hospital with IV liquid vitamins and minerals being given to her along with antibiotics to fight the massive infection. She underwent many tests and was on constant monitoring to bring Mo back to health. She was in a bad way and losing weight. She had no appetite to eat making her recovery additionally tough.

Mo’s mom stayed with Mo night and day at the hospital. What a terrible spot to be in as a mother, helpless to be able to take away the pain from her daughter, no power to heal her, but willing to do everything in her power to get her daughter back. The happy bright spirit that Mo is. I must say when my wife and I visited Mo in the hospital I was indeed concerned. This beautiful little girl was pale and missing that glow she normally has around her. My daughter told me that more than one of the doctors there told her that out of all the children they are seeing really ill with the flu/pneumonia, only the children who did not receive a flu shot were ending up admitted and in need of a chest tube to drain infection from their lungs.

Yes, I am writing about an actual event! I’m writing this for parents to really research this for themselves. Please, don’t think this won’t happen to you or your children. It is our responsibility to do the best we can for the little spirits who depend on us to keep them safe. Make a knowledgeable and wise decision. After seeing what happened to my loving little helper AKA my granddaughter,

I’m sure her mom and dad will make sure my little helper will get her annual flu shots in the future!

P.S. Mo is home now and she is getting better. The road to full recovery will be a long one for her. She is still on an IV machine she has to carry around for now. Her mom is monitoring her meals to make sure she gets over 1850 calories a day along with vitamins and minerals to get her health back. Grandpa is relieved and happy to see his little helper back home and getting better. I’m looking forward to have Mo back on the fairy house project to add her magic. Head Tinker wants to send out a big shout to Doernbecher hospital for taking such fantastic care of his little helper and her mom. Thank you, thank you, and thank you so much. Another big shout out to Mo’s mom and dad, you two are fantastic, loving and caring parents. Thank goodness this loving spirit has the nurturing, caring and protection a child wants and needs while growing up to become a positive energy the world is in dire need of.

At the end of the day its what you are willing to live with. Base your decision on Facts.

My daughter and son-in-law are living with the pain that maybe they should have gotten Mo to the doctors office sooner than they did. All decisions can be second-guessed after the outcome is known. The trick is to make the best decision one can after doing as much research as possible.

Reminder: These are decisions one lives with for the ‘rest of your life’.

Whether or not to get your children flu shots. So, hopefully, if you have children and grandchildren and you are on the fence to get a shot, this message will get you to make a decision you can live with comfortably the rest of your life and theirs!


Head Tinker signing out,

Billy Dillard

Fairies Breaking Glass Flowers Again

Stain glass flowers to make in the work shop is what the head tinker had in mind.

Mischievous fairies were hard at work with what they had in mind!Another day at the workshop making stain glass flowers is what I had in mind, but the troublesome fairies had something totally different in store for the head tinker.

Sculptural stained glass flowers decorating the Enchanted Fairy House.

Sculptural stained glass flowers decorating the Enchanted Fairy House.

When I left class last Saturday, five flowers were cut, fitted and ready to fire in the kiln. Also, I brought home two flower samples for me to see how they would look — size and fit – around the window.

I get home and place the two stain glass flowers around the window, searching for the best placement and fit. What a beautiful transformation they will add to the fairy window! I’m thinking that there will need to be quite a few more glass flowers to please the sprightly fairies, and quite a few of the small white flowers. I can’t wait to get the next 5 flowers home and see how they’ll spark up the window!

While contemplating the two flowers I have so far, I ask myself what is the best and safest way to install all these flowers to keep the non-fairy souls from getting hurt by a naughty fairy causing a flower to break!  If a flower were to break, how do I make it so it doesn’t fall and possibly hurt a soul as the flower descends to the ground?

Now, fast forward to the present day

Today, after coming in to class, what was ready wasn’t quite what the head tinker had envisioned.  Two large stain glass flowers and one small flower had been fired, leaving two flowers undone or even in the kiln. Disappointment was trying to set in!

Here are the choices available:

1.    Be upset

2.    Shrug it off and move on

With some help from a good fairy in happy spirits, a suggestion was whispered in my ear to choose number two and move on.

Next task at hand was to file on the edges of the 2 sample flowers.  But oh those impish fairies jump in to do their part.  While filing on the small white flower, two petals pop off!  More disappointment.

The instructor gives me a demonstration on drilling a hole through the flower.  Seems easy enough, but now it’s my turn.  Guess what happens – yes, you guessed it! As I’m drilling, the flower broke. That is a total of 2 broken.  I’m certain the mischievous fairies are beside themselves with the havoc and misfortune they have bestowed thus far.  The day is young with much more time for calamity.

The head tinker decides to cut more glass to make another flower., but the bothersome fairy had something else in mind to cut…yes, time to cut the head tinker’s finger.  This is where one doesn’t give up, but simply gets with the program and moves forward.  Following some first aid, it’s back to work.

After cutting out the petals, the instructor said I could start making some stain  glass leaves.  The vexing fairies kicked in once again, bringing thoughts dancing through my head and those thoughts weren’t about sugarplums!

I’m thinking, “No way!  How long will that take?  How many will break only to have to be refired?  What would be the cost on that?  Wouldn’t it be faster and more cost effective to make them out of different material?  I like cost effective over saying cheaper.”  All of this is dancing around through my head.  So I ignored the suggestion of glass leaves and just finished out the day working on paper patterns for more flowers.

I really like my instructor and have no wish to hurt her feelings in any way.  None of what happened that day was her fault.  As far as the 5 stain glass flowers not being ready when I came in, I’m not the only student having items fired during the week and there is only so much room in each kiln.

The mean little fairies were not going to get the best of me.  Remember, you have a choice.  You get to decide to be upset or make the best of what comes your way.  Keep in mind that you don’t attract bees with vinegar.  I wonder if this pertains to fairies also?

I look forward to cutting out the leaves in metal, hammering in some shape and watching the forms emerge.  There will be some sculpting epoxy applied to help with the transformation into magical pieces as expressions of nature.

Now it’s time to relax at home, clear my mind and watch some inspirational movie for more ideas.


Head Tinker signing off,
Billy Dillard

Fairy Window Stained Glass Flowers

Designing the look of the fairy window.

Today I’m spending another great deal of time in front of the computer getting the bugs worked out to go live with this wonderful site about the creation of the enchanted fairy house and all it takes to make it come together. The fairy tinkers will be posting regularly about what is going on with the build.

faery flowers

Fairy Flower

At this very moment stain glass flowers to go around the fairy window are in the kiln cooling down. These beauties will brighten the area a bit when the fairies walk or fly up to it. The head tinker has been taking stained glass and fused glass classes from Design Lite Studios in Portland, Oregon.

Dog wood flowers were chosen for the reference model. The light colors and some pretty green leaves will really brighten up the fairy window opening. What do you think? It’s amazing to watch the transformation as this fairy house comes to life.

Time to feed animals that live here. The horse, Kick Start. The dog, Lee Lou. Four cats, Mocha, Burt, Precious and Ky KY. It’s a beautiful sunny day outside.  The head tinker is going to enjoy the sunshine while it’s out. I hope wherever you’re at, that you take time in your busy schedule to enjoy life.

Head Tinker, Billy Dillard signing off for now.