I know a man. A strange man, He's a mysterious and strange friend. He sometimes goes by strange names. He sometimes wears strange clothes. He definitely has some strange hobbies and strange talents, and sometimes he shows off these talents in his Strange Show. He is Josh B' Gosh, a performance artist whom I've known for years. He performs street and stage shows at many fairs, festivals, and get-togethers around the western Wisconsin area. I really like his stuff. I have seen street magicians and performers by the hundreds, most of them are kind of the same fare, but Josh is distinct and different, his show makes me think of a cross between old time vaudeville showmanship and a circus sideshow. Both are highly entertaining when apart but when joined together by Josh's showmanship, well if you have the chance to see him you should, that's all I really have to say.
He does a lot of things with his show, from laying on a bed of 4 inch nails and having a couple of people stand on his body to Houdini escapes from ropes and straight jackets. One of the biggest crowd pleasers is when he plays with fire. Josh is an accomplished fire eater, and like a dragon, he can blow large balls of fire into the air. If you want to check out more about him and his strange craft you can check out his website at strangeshows.com
I don't know about you, I love clean simple lines of design, that's the appeal of shaker style furniture. It can also be some of the most daunting things to design. I spent a long time thinking about the design for the fire sticks, I filled several pages in my sketch book with ideas I didn't like. It may sound counter-intuitive but something highly ornamental would have been easier. You can hide mistakes behind ornamentation. Clean and simple kind of lays your soul bare, shows what you're made of, and I'm a middling turner at best. This upped the ante for me, making it a little of a challenge to try and pull off.
Finally I had something sketched that I liked. It held to what I considered to be simple and clean with a little class to make it a step above a dowel. It used the golden ratio in it's proportions. This is what I came up with.
So until next time make sure to go check out Josh B' Gosh and his Strange Show and we'll finish up how I finished up this one. Maybe I'll get Josh to teach me how to blow a ball of flame myself, wouldn't that be a trick for the shop...