Beginning a new project

greenpotDue to other tasks my shop time was cut short yet again. I did bring one urn almost to completion. I call this one Forest Floor. I am really drawn to the greens for some reason. I was having a heck of a time on the lacquer on this one. I have a feeling I need to get some real spraying lacquer and pull out the spray gun to get the finish I am looking for. I am still toying with doing a youtube video on the steps involved with this coloring method.

The Color Purple – A lidded turned vase

photo 1As promised, a new piece today — and of course it is colored. I hadn’t used any purple in my projects and it was time to give that a shot. It wasn’t really bright enough in my light box to bring out the blues peeking out from the purple color in a tie-dyed effect, but they are there and it is a very nice touch. I tried using a bit of fabric dye (Jacquard Procion MX Dye) to get a nice cobalt blue since I had not been able to really get the depth of color by mixing. It worked great but I found that they were a bit harder to blend than regular wood dyes. I also sealed it with a coat of spray shellac before applying the lacquer. May not have been a good idea as I kept getting fisheyes in the lacquer. It may not have been the reason but I don’t think I’ll try it again on a nice piece. As an accent the knob on top of the lid is purple heart and although it looks brown now, it should start reverting to purple in a few days.

On this project L time to turn vase — about one hour;  time to color — about 2.5 hours;  time to finish — about 3.5 hours. It almost makes me reconsider doing these colored turnings with the high sheen. It’s too bad I like them so much.

Lost Weekend

2015-09-19 18.46.50Due to a touch of the flu I only spent a couple of hours out in the shop this weekend — and I didn’t feel well enough to complete any projects. I just poked about and did some planning for when I when I was back to normal again (well as normal as I get). I did try to visualize this piece as my next coloring project. I see the knot looks like a heart so it may get saved for Valentine’s day. I also had the batch of goblets to finish but once again I couldn’t even do small projects like that.  With working a full-time job losing a weekend is like losing a best friend. More to see next week — I promise!

River Bottom – Work in progress

2015-10-25 16.20.14I took the Going Green piece up to the Green Phoenix this weekend and already had separation anxiety before leaving. She loved the colored pieces as do I so I needed to replace that one with another green piece – this one titled “River Bottom” to compliment the “Ocean Bottom” piece I did a while back (this is also up at the Phoenix). The Ocean Bottom was shade of blue and green but the rivers around here are green and murky so that’s what came out of this piece of locust. It already had dark areas which I accented with greens and browns. The primary colors were water based dyes and the olive green colors were created by rubbing alcohol based dye over the water dye to do some blending.

And speaking of green this one was turned while the wood was still green so it will sit on my bench for a while so I can be sure it won’t crack as it finishes drying. That shouldn’t take long since I turned it quite thin.  Continue reading

Overseas Bound

10191I have to fulfill an order from England for a shop. The owner has his own “private label” mead and wanted to offer some hand-turned goblets. And he wanted goblets made in the USA. He didn’t care what they were–my choice. I had one very nice walnut one that I am sending but I wanted something a bit different. This is sycamore and the stem, as you can guess, has been dyed black with a hint of burgundy. It is all one piece but give the illusion of a two piece goblet.  I also thought it should have a mate because if you are buying gifts, you will probably want a pair of them. Creating one from scratch is fun but duplicating it is just work. Notice it has not been cut off yet. I have some special finish coming that is food safe and alcohol friendly and I want to chuck this back up to apply it.

Going Green

2015-10-11 15.48.08With too many home renovation projects going on my shop time has been limited but I needed to get at least one turned project done and green was the color I wanted to work with. I also wanted a high gloss finish so multiple coats of lacquer were used for that. The shape is one that I have used before on a smaller vessel that I keep staring at on my bench. I knew I wanted to duplicate that. Once again — no idea what this wood is except it had some serious blotching and many bug holes. That just added to the challenge. I am usually very critical of my own work but can’t find much to criticize on this piece. I think the only change I would have made is to make the walls a bit thinner — but that would have taken hours that I didn’t have to spend.


Continue reading

Turning Fire

2015-10-04 13.05.24I am still riding the color train at least until it reaches the station. This one is some mystery wood that was quite splotchy. If you have splotchy wood color is perfect for making it behave. The lid is just a piece of poplar dyed black to match the rim. This one was going to have a black foot on it as well but I determined that it didn’t really need it. This one is just a sealer coat of shellac with several coats of wax so it feels very nice. Measures about 8″ tall.

I have 3 more blanks prepared from this wood and 2 of them are already roughed out into pieces. Those 2 are (hopefully) going to be waterfowl related to get them into the shop in Easton for Waterfowl Festival. I already have in mind what I want to do but  during the process it is subject to change — as always. Continue reading

Element 4 – Air

2015-09-27 13.35.15Yes, you’re right there was a different Element 4 pot up a couple weeks ago but I pulled it from the series because it didn’t please me. I got scads of compliments on it but it had to please me to be in the series. I let this one dictate the design and the big knot just screamed sun and the random swirls and tan spots said desert so I named it “Desert Sky“. I’m not sure what kind of wood this is be we determined a lot of things it wasn’t. Once again not sure where it came from, I just have logs sitting around now. This one completes the series, the last one has taken it’s rightful spot on the wall of shame.


Continue reading

Turning Inventory

2015-09-13 15.58.40I’m toying with the idea of opening an Etsy Store so I need some more standard inventory — which is actually a bit faster to make than art pieces. This candy(?) dish is a perfect example. I have turned lots of these and they are always a big hit. This is Brazilian Cherry and a bit thick because I found it has a tendency to crack if you turn it too thin. Added benefit — it could be used a weapon! The lid is American cherry with a mahogany spindle which is colored with Dark Walnut oil. Still trying to figure out the pricing at Etsy since it seems to be all over the map but I don’t want to work for less than I could make at McDonalds!

Continue reading

Element 3 – Water

2015-09-11 15.32.25This piece is called “Ocean Bottom” because the hues suggest an ocean bottom rather than a murky river bottom. The effect is accentuated by bits of plankton floating around and the dark area at the very bottom. I wanted to use a different type of finial on this one and this one is a stylistic dolphin beak breaking up from the surface. I wanted to stick a “pearl” in the mouth but had nothing around the shop that could be used. The finish is 10 coats of lacquer but the true shine is not really visible in my light box — maybe time to upgrade it? It took a while to finish this due to a vacation last week but I did finish it today and moved on to the next element — air.