Finished project — well almost. I wanted to spray and nice lacquer finish on it but it kept threatening to rain all day so I abandoned that plan. On this piece I had to work within the confines of the chunk of wood I was turning and came up with this shape. The sap wood was real soft so I epoxied a piece of ash to the bottom in order to chuck it up and dyed it black just for an accent. I was going to do a black lid to compliment that but the sycamore looked so good natural that I decided to leave it. Of course I had to bring the walnut up to the spindle just for balance.
I thought since I left my day job I would have more time to turn wood — wrong! Last week I got a small injury on my stationary sander taking almost all the skin off the middle finger of my left hand which held me back a bit. I am finishing a building project at the house. I also had to take my guitar to get the bridge glued back on for the time when the finger heals and I can actually play again. I did have a lot of wood show up in front of the shop. This piece I started was from an unknown source and I wasn’t quite sure what it was until I started turning. I found it to be poplar and it turns like butter. This one has gone through several trips to the microwave and the moisture level is now down below 10%. I’d say it was dry. This piece is screaming for color so colored it shall be when I decide how I want to approach it. Finish project coming soon (hopefully).
I tried an oak bowl done black with gold leaf paint on it and wiped the paint off leaving the gold down in the grain. It looked spectacular but was just an old junk bowl so I had envisioned doing this piece using that technique — until I saw how it looked natural and decided to leave it that way. The grain was way too pretty to cover up and the knot going through was a definite plus for the interest value of the piece. I believe this is a piece of pecan wood which we had trimmed off a tree a few years ago and not the oak I had suspected before I took a tool to it. No, I haven’t given up on color, in fact I did another one this weekend with nice shades of green and blue which was rather soothing to look at. I still need to complete the lid and lacquer work on it before posting.
This lidded container is turned from sycamore and left natural. The only concession was to blacken the rim which looks very dramatic against the start lightness of the vessel. The lid is turned from teak, which I don’t like to turn but I had some to get rid of and this was a good place to use it. The spindle was a piece of walnut but I also blackened the base of the spindle to complement the black rim of the vessel. There is a light coat of shellac as a sanding sealer and then the piece was waxed to a satin sheen.
I found a whole branch of spalted wood out next to my shed that had been hanging around (not literally) for quite a while. I suspect it may have been from the pecan tree we had trimmed a few year ago but I’m not quite sure. I wanted to play the blues and had some new dyes that needed to be experimented with so this is what I came up with. The neck is actually a piece of sycamore and it got a hair line crack after gluing it in so that needs to be dealt with somehow. The lid is just a piece of poplar with more dye. It may may the crowning achievement of this pot. The main body is very grainy so it need many more wet sandings and coats of lacquer before I consider it a finished piece but it will be done this week in any case. I also have a couple more in progress that I’m working on that are totally different.
My meeting with the Apothecary went great yesterday and they took all the sample pieces I took up. They were so taken with the colored pieces that I left there feeling like a celebrity. I didn’t even know this place existed but they are located on Hanson Street and offer Acupuncture, skin care, massage and yoga in addition to the herbs. Visit their website for more information.
Today I am off to visit with the apothecary and I was able to get this piece done. It is a small piece of that spalted oak and I didn’t want to waste it so I glued it to a chunk o’ cherry and went at it. There is a band of Seattle’s Best #5 (dark roast coffee) separating the cherry from the oak and it looked suspiciously like walnut so I put a walnut spindle on to match. I do wish I had also but one of those bands at the top where the cherry lid meets but I just ran out of time — funny how that happens even when you have nothing but time but I had another bowl I wanted to finish coloring to take with me and I had to make a choice.
As promised, the willow pot that got colored. Actually it got recolored, the first dye job was too much of a bright red and looked a bit garish or maybe juvenile. Unfortunately I didn’t think of that until I already had a couple of coats of lacquer on it. I sanded back the lacquer a bit and then wiped down with lacquer thinner and rubbed alcohol based blue indigo dye on hoping to get a shade of purple. What I actually got was another smoky ember effect which honestly looks better than purple would have. Not sure about the lid yet — I’ll have to look at it a few more days yet. Maybe a natural wood wood be better.
I have so many projects going on at once that sometimes I lose track of what I had in mind for a certain piece. I feel driven like I’m just on a long weekend and need to get as much as I can in before going back to work. Eventually I’ll accept that every day is a weekend and I can relax a bit more.