Just before Thanksgiving my niece emailed me to ask if either my husband or I might consider making a pig breadboard as a gift for her prayer partner. She had discovered that her prayer partner collected pig cutting boards and wanted to give her one that would be unique. I sent her a few ideas from the web to try to get a feel for what she was thinking. She liked the ideas that I sent so this board is a composite of those ideas.
I listed all the various wood species which I had in the shop and since my niece didn’t know if she simply collects all the boards or if she actually uses them, she selected maple in case she would use it. I had a curly maple cut-off left over from a previous project that was about 9½” x 16” so I drew the pig to fit.
Because I don’t see well, I don’t usually cut curves, but since I was planning to round-over the edges, I used a felt-tipped marker and had no problem. I carved a few details and woodburned Made in USA on the foot and designed and hand-crafted by [my niece’s name] aunt on the belly. (I figured if she wanted to use it as a cutting board, she might do so on the back so I didn’t want to woodburn there.) It was a relatively simple, quick project – just a couple of days and it was done. She wanted to pay for it, but I only do woodworking for enjoyment and asked her to simply cover the cost of the wood and the shipping. That was more than I would have been willing to pay!
How could anyone ever make a living making something like this? Had I charged minimum wage, it would have been over $75 for my time plus shipping and materials. And I certainly wouldn’t do woodworking without covering the cost of maintaining a shop. If I were trying to make a living, I’d need to charge a minimum of $200 for that board! I don’t think there is much potential for wealthy clients who desire animal-shaped cutting boards.
-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin