My name is Mike Williams, at this time I am retired from public work and am finally beginning to live my dream. I am a full time scroll saw artist and designer. In the following paragraph's I will try to give you some insight as to my background and where I am going. I hope it is enjoyable reading as I am not one to talk about myself. I will try to be objective and hopefully you will know some about me and my art.
I am a life long resident of a small rural county in South Mississippi located about 30 miles north of the Gulf Coast town of Pascagoula, Ms. and about 30 miles Northwest of Mobile, Ala. The town is Lucedale, Ms. and I live about six miles out in the county in the Bexley Community. We have a lot of colorful names for communities here. Buzzard's Roost, Skull Fork.... You get the picture!! I'm a redneck!!! I am a Viet Nam veteran and am currently suffering from the effects of Agent Orange exposure. After Viet Nam I roamed around a bit trying to find where I belonged. I was a rodeo clown an bullfighter for a number of years and that suited me perfectly. Ha!! After that, I became a Deputy Sheriff and after a few years became a Police Officer. I spent nearly twenty-five years in law enforcement here at home. I became a safety manager for a company after that and retired in July of 2006.
Art has always been a passion. I had a dear friend who was the art teacher at the local high school who ask me to help him with a project. He wanted me to cut some pine trees out of wood for him on a scroll saw. I had no idea what a scroll saw was? He introduced me to a craftsman with a six inch square table. It was a funny looking little thing. Even though it was a pin end and vibrated off the table, I fell in love. Back then no one else in this area knew what I was talking about when I tried to find blades. I not only cut his project, but began to draw and cut everything I could find. This went on for several years. I started making signs with the lettering cut from wood. It was a big hit here and I had a pretty good thing going for me. However, work and raising a family came first and I let the saw fall by the wayside.
About five years ago, my wife and I were at one of the local home improvement centers doing some shopping. When we were passing a display that featured a scroll saw, we stopped. I was looking at a delta with variable speed that used straight blades. She insisted that I purchase it and start cutting again. The rest is history. I rekindled that love and immediately became passionate about what I cut. I now have work hanging in restaurants, city halls, public library's, motel lobbies and many private homes throughout the gulf coast.
After hurricane Katrina, I raised toys for the children here who would not have a Christmas. (re. Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine Holiday 2006 issue. "Yes Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus", written by Jeff Zaffino). That is where I met Jeff Zaffino. Jeff came down and helped me the night the toys were given to the Children. A great friendship followed to this day. Jeff and my wife insisted that I start designing my own patterns. Jeff spent a lot of time helping me get an idea of how to use the computer to generate my ideas. Thanks to Jeff, I have began to develop my own style of designing.
I try to design realism into each pattern. My designs are straight forward and are not complicated. I try to have enough connection points that anyone can cut any pattern. I design very few that are tricky to cut. I honestly believe that a beginner could cut my designs.
My saw is a Dewalt 788 and if I were to rate the Dewalt, I would give it a C-. It is a pretty good saw. Low vibration, large table and easy blade insertion. The problem is the blade chucks. They have too much movement side-to-side and wear out rather quickly. For the weekend hobbyist it is a great saw.
I use the 2/0 spiral blade for everything. I stack cut at least four pieces of 1/8 inch wood for every cutting. My wood of choice is A4 oak or Poplar ply. My finish of choice is a 70/30 mix of boiled linseed oil and mineral spirits.
I will have a tips and techniques section on my site soon. I experiment a lot with processes and am finding some new and exciting things about stopping bust outs, pattern removal, wood selection. I have also been testing the use of adding color to a finished project to give it more realism. I think everyone will enjoy the tips and techniques section. I hope to add photo's to help in the explanations.
I really hope my site is enjoyable and my patterns are what you are looking for. If you have any suggestions or are looking for a particular subject, email me and let me know and I will try very hard to develop what you are looking for. You may either send me a photo or a picture of a subject and I will try to do something with it. You are the reason I do what I do.
Thanks To Everyone and "LET THE SAWDUST FLY!!!