Inspiration for a project can build slowly over time. It may be a piece that sparks your interest, a detail here, a design element there and an idea starts to build in your mind. Eventually you put your ideas to paper and a project is born. Or, sometimes, inspiration can hit instantaneously and unexpectedly. Such was the case for the Dragon Slayer project. I had made my daughter a hope chest (see previous blog posts) several years ago and wanted to make something cool for my son who was entering his ‘20s at the time. He enjoys complicated, fantasy based, strategic board and computer games. I was having trouble deciding what to make for him.
My wife and I were in Ireland for a day before continuing on to England for the 2015 European Woodworking Show. One of the places we visited was the Trinity College Library in Dublin. It is a fantastic library with beautiful woodwork and huge stacks of wonderful old books on two levels. It would be easy to spend weeks looking through all there is to see.
Photo credit: Tony Webster
There was a special exhibit at the library in the Long Room showcasing children's books. As I was looking at the displays, an illustration in an open book caught my eye. Total inspiration, I knew what my project would be. The illustration was of a fantastical dragon, it’s tail wrapped around a young man who had his sword drawn high. The dragon’s mouth was wide open, roaring with tongue and flames flying. Intense eyes fixed upon each other’s.
It was to be a fight to the death. The bones of previous attackers were scattered around the Dragon's lair. What was the story? Who was this brave young man, what was this dragon he was slaying? Why? And what about his sword? I knew then that I needed to make my son a sword and a cool cabinet to display it as well as a copy of this book! I took some pictures and the project was born. Well, sort of. First I wanted to read the story!
I'll be back with a new post next week to continue the project.
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Well, I had a busy weekend finishing up the Dragon Slayer Cabinet project.
Check out the final installment and the end result.