Rings and Where Have We Been

I know we've been a teeny bit inactive on the blog lately. But that's because of all the prolificacy we've been dealing with out there beyond the computer. Sometimes the ideas...they just take over.

And that, of course, is a good thing. In fact, it's the thing. We see ourselves as more than just designers. We see Moss Robot as an idea factory. Which means we have our hands (brains) in all sorts of different mediums.

Which also means that there are new things to come. And to start we'd like to quickly share some wooden rings we've been making.

The rings are made of Bocote, Zebrawood, Marblewood and Ziricote. And some, as you can see, are comprised of layers of more than one wood. They are elegant, yes? no? yes.

We're currently creating these in three distinct sizes. And have the ability to tweak those sizes for custom fits.
Different woods are also in the process now.  Out in the shop currently, we're introducing Macassar Ebony, Cocobolo and this really interesting piece of Ambrosia Maple.

 Really interesting.

More to come. And thanks for staying tuned. 

Matt and Lisa

Well, well...

It's been one month and approximately (or exactly) two days since our last post. that's a long time in the internet world. And we hope we've still got a few of the old crew still checking back in.

Because today you will finally be rewarded for your steadfastness.

We're not quite ready to update you on the goings-on of the last month and two days but that will come in time. and by "in time," of course, I mean "shortly."

For now, enjoy this...

And This!

That's marblwood.
And she's a stubborn beauty. Broke a sweat but I tamed her all right.

How's about one more?

Oh, that's nice.

Stay tuned for a post on our furniture design/build project from the last month. It's gonna look professional and everything. promise.


Ode to Zebrawood

Zebrawood. Zebrawood. Zebrawood. Your stripes are sleak and svelt.
Your wonderfulness is a mystery.
And you gave my brain a welt.
                                              -unknown author (no, it was me. just now)

This here zebrawood put up a fight.
I added tools to my armory for this thing.

But I also streamlined my process.
So, tit for tat and all good things have silver clouds and amen.


But that's not all!

I've also started on metal inlays.
Bronze, to be exact. Have a look at this one I made for my sister-in-law:

photo by Regan Wood, stolen with pride from instagram

Bronze is harder to get your hands on than you might think.
But... the internet came through in the end.
Try out onlinemetals.com
if you have the ..."metal desire"...dibs on that band name.


First Ziricote Bangle

I still have to put a finish on this thing. But I thought I'd share my accomplishment for the day (and, yes, it took a large portion of the day).

The hole alone seems like it was hour in the making. This stuff is dense and heavy. This bangle weighs 50 pounds (no, it doesn't).

I've got enough wood to make about 6 or 7. And this one will be up for sale tomorrow.



Check out this piece of Ziricote I just picked up!
It comes from parts of Mexico and Central America. A very dense wood. But, I'm told that it's relatively easy to work with. And it's next up on the list for shaping.

A closer view below.
There are not many, if any, woods that have such a unique grain feature. I'm really looking forward to boring through this thing making something cool.

So, check back here or visit the etsy site for the final pieces I sculpt. I hope to have some bangles finished by tomorrow.


A Bangle, A Cuff and an Etsy walk into a bar...

Moss Robot finally has their act together. We've
got ourselves an etsy site!

And wouldn't you know it, we've got a few things for sale already.

This walnut bangle is listed along with the suede
cuff below. Plus more green cuffs.

And more walnut bangles are on the way.

So, if you've been following along with our
progress, I hope you'll give us a good 'ol pirate
"way to go, mateys."

Because I feel like we've finally arrived. Or, at
least, are arriving...in methodical waves of

Now, without further ado, click here!


The Walnut is IN.

Here lies my first attempt at using walnut to make a bangle. All around it was a much different experience than using the mulberry.

Walnut is much harder to bore through, harder to shape, cut and sand.

But it looks great. And the color actually has more purple in it than the picture suggests. Very nice. Very fancy.

I've already gotten started on my second. And I'd say I'm well on my way to having these available for consumption.*


*note: for sale. not for actual edible consumption. Unless, of course, you're buying them for a woodpecker who doesn't mind pecking through a couple layers of finish.

The Bangle Arch

After this one I'll be adding walnut (just purchased) to the 'ol bangle arsenal.

And then it's up, up and away to an etsy or boutique near you.

I expect to have both mulberry and walnut bangles for sale with either zebrawood or cocobolo on deck, depending on what's available at the shop.

Hoping to have that started by the end of this week.

So, stay tuned.

And spread the word.*


*Bangle the Drum!

Slow-Dance Bangle

This one Lisa has claimed for herself. I get the feeling that may be happening a lot, actually. But, can you blame her. really.

I'm mean, really.

But she's going to have to be strong. Because soon we'll see the introduction of exotic hardwoods. Because I've found a local supplier. Tigerwood. Bubinga. Purpleheart. Bloodwood. and oh so much more.

And did I say local supplier? Cause I meant neighborhood wood shop. I can walk there for crying out loud. walk there!

Sweet destiny...


The Bangle Parade Continues...

I've been experimenting and accumulating the proper tools in order to make many more of these mulberry bangle bracelets. What I've ended up with after a number of days is a pretty good procedure for producing a set of 4 or so at once instead of one at a time.

Essentially, this means that I've cleaned up my work space and can now work with more than a one square foot corner of my table. But it also means that I've got enough sandpaper and a proper hole saw size, too!

This one here—and the next few to follow—has a 2.5" opening.

I am also now using a water-based lacquer to finish them. This will keep the color from darkening through repeated connect with skin oils and give strength to the whole structure.


Mulberry Pendant

Here's another piece I made from a mulberry branch.* This branch was about an inch wide and I sliced it into thin chips with the miter saw.

Then I went looking for an interesting way to sand it that might sort of artificially create a new texture. What I ended up doing was using a coarse sand paper attachment on the dremel to sand away a channel of the bark all around the chip.

You can see it in the pictures where the circular shapes appear and disappear. This is because I made a point of sanding unevenly and choosing to leave the bark in certain places or just sanding through half of it in others. Lots of different tones of the wood show up.

A hole was drilled through the middle of each piece in order to feed through the heavy-gauge wire. How heavy? I don't know. But that stuff is tough to bend.

Pliers and a vise were essential. And, also, a willingness to work through the pain. Oh. My... Hands.

Then after that horror is over you look down at your terrifically twisting steel and realize that it's gone through quite the ordeal, too. Because pliers and vises like to scratch. Nasty little things.

So, it's back to the trusty dremel and the sharpening attachments. These things sharpen metal and stone and shave off tiny sharp things from pipes and whatnot. They are very handy for working with metal of any kind or size.

And once the scratches were cleaned up, I rounded the tips to be nice and smooth and that was that. Pendant accomplished.

Thanks for having a look. Stay tuned for something with wheels and a long, tear-drop shape. No, it's not a fish-mobile.

*There are also two pieces of oak in there. Surprise!

Mulberry Bangle

This is actually the first bracelet I made.*

I've cut up a lot of mulberry branches over the years but I haven't stripped the bark off of any branch this thick. Turns out it has a really interesting grain that I had not seen before. And the mustardy center contrasts well with the lighter outside of the hoop.

I kept this one all natural. And I'll give it a sealing coat of wax to protect it from wear and discoloration.


*Yeah, I see how that's confusing given that the previous post is titled "First Bracelet." But I'm giving myself the luxury of two firsts. And what a luxury! I'm just swimming in a two-firsts pool of wine.

First Bracelet

I've been tooling around in the work shed lately, scheming, building, playing. but, mostly sanding. Because it's all about the sanding at the end of the day. Standing and sanding.

I keep a lot of thick branches around. These are branches that have either come crashing down from our monster trees or have been cut down by me because I like using a saw. I've got oak, mulberry and some pine from my neighbor.

But I've had this Christmas fir trunk from a couple years ago that caught my eye as a perfect specimen to make a prototype. Basically, it has the right thickness to bore a 2.25" hole through.

So, I cut off a half inch slice with a miter saw. Bored through it with a 2.25" hole bit on the drill. Cut the angles with a dremel cutting wheel. And then sanded and sanded and sanded and sanded... until the outside was flat with crisp edges and the inside was curved.

For finishing, I dipped half the bracelet in stain. Let that dry. Then dipped the opposite half in a poppy-colored paint I found amongst the myriad cans of paint we've accumulated. You'd think we ran a painting business there's so many cans.

What came of it is what you see here. And I hope to have it and others like it seen on etsy in the very near future. I've got a mulberry bracelet finished, as well and I'll post that soon. But, there are lots of great woods out there in the world beyond my yard. Zebrawood. Bloodwood. Jobillo.

Oh, yeah. I'm coming for you Jobillo...