Tag Archives: sketching

DIY Drawing Charcoal Holder

bamboo stalk with vine charcoalDIY Drawing Charcoal Holder

Another DIY, do it yourself, project using recycled materials.  Working with charcoal can be a messy affair.  There are times when using a charcoal holder not only keeps your hands cleaner but it can also give you more control.  This charcoal holder can be used with the slim  vine or compressed charcoal.

Materials & Supplies

  • Bamboo: Dried bamboo stalks can be found at decorator and florist shops.
  • Packing wire
  • glue
  • sharpie
  • tape
  • saw
  • vice


You will need a bamboo stalk with an opening the diameter of your charcoal.  I was able to use the bamboo from an orchid plant; the bamboo was used to hold up the flower stem.  Make sure your bamboo has nodes as divider segments

charcoal_holder_split_to_nodeFrom the divider node of the bamboo, measure an inch up, toward the top where the charcoal will be, and mark.  The node keeps the bamboo from splitting completely.

Put the bamboo in a vice with the bottom facing up.  The vice will hold the bamboo while you saw.     Make the first cut, saw down the shaft of the bamboo to the 1″ mark.  You can wrap tape around the shaft at the bottom end  to hold bamboo together while you saw down the shaft.  Remove the tape.

charcoal_holder_bindWind the wire around the shaft, not too tight as you will want to slide it up and down.  Make a wire stop to keep the wire from sliding off the bamboo. With the saw, gently score around the shaft of the bamboo, about a third of the way down the shaft from the bottom end.  Apply glue in the score and wrap the wire around the glued scored area and let it dry for a day.

To decorate the charcoal holder, wrap the shaft with yarn.



On the Road: Travel kit for watercolors

On the Road with a Travel Kit for Watercolors

Travel kit for watercolorsMy small Altoid tin houses a few pans of watercolors: hansa yellow, undersea green, burnt sienna, alizarin crimson, indigo, ultramarine blue, quinacrodon gold.  Also included are few fine tipped markers and a pentel water brush, and a Strathmore watercolor journal.  This is the first time for this kit with these tools and colors.  This kit is setup for tropical climates on the coast.  Artist Cathy Johnson has a wonderful YouTube video on all her travel kits, she has many.  She keeps a kit in the glove compartment of her car.  Such a good idea!  It’s a good thing, as Martha would say ;o)