Author Archives: Alan

Fallen Limb Pot

We lost a massive branch from one of our pecan trees last week. I had not turned green wood for a while and this was a good opportunity to revisit that. I hollowed and shaped it a bit, put it in the microwave for a bit and then turned the walls thin. I had one small crack develop during the microwaving which is not bad. The pecan was not that interesting – very light colored. To accentuate the grain I put a coat of black dye before the final sanding. Consequently all the grain showed up spectacularly though the green dye. I still have about 8 foot of this 6″ round limb so a few more of these will probably be in the works.

Natural edge bowl with pedestal

This piece of spalted wood came out of my pile and needed to be gone. I liked the figure but the light color was not what I wanted. I have brown dye which seldom gets used and I used that for something different. The inside is natural color. My wife really wanted me to do another natural edge bowl so this is what I did. The shape I was able to get out of that chunk needed a bit of enhancement. I first thought a tall decorative pedestal would look good but I ended up doing a short one out of walnut and gave it a coat of the same brown dye. I also picked out a lot of bug damage and filled with epoxy with black dye in it. Right now the bowl has a satin lacquer finish from a rattle can to seal the dye but it will be sprayed on my next spray lacquer day.

Sold at Oxford Artist Studio Tour

Turned Wood Vessel of many colors

This pot was turned with the intention  of creating another Jade Green piece. The green had some issues and I decided to abandon that and turned the color off. I then decided that a black dye would look good if all the grain showed though – a good idea for a future project but it didn’t hit me on this. I then decided to put a coat of black lacquer on it just to avoid having to get rid of the black dye. Again — epic fail as every dimple and defect were just compounded through the lacquer. I almost tossed it in the bin but decided to turn it all off one more time and let it go natural. This time I added a couple of coats of walnut danish oil. I was actually quite pleased this time. The lid was almost a perfect fit and was a left over from another “binned” project. 

Glass lidded segmented container

I had not done a glass lidded turned container for a while and all the ones I had sold rather quickly. This pot was going to be another open segment like the last but blew apart on me. Rather than scrap it, I just put solid wood in between — alternating between coco bolo and maple to set off the main walnut segments. The bottom wasn’t looking too nice after multiple attempts to sand down there. As chance would have it, I had a 2″ diameter mirror that just fit. 

By the way, I will be displaying (and hopefully selling!) at the Oxford Studio Tour on September 6.

Maple urn with walnut

This piece had been sitting unfinished for a year in my shop. It had some end grain cracks in the maple but they haven’t changed in a year. I turned out a bigger hole and inserted a nice walnut lip. The lid is also maple but lacquered black for contrast. The cherry spindle just came out of the scrap pile. The urn is about 7 1/2″ tall with lid and 5″ in diameter. The whole piece has a satin lacquer finish.

Sold at Oxford Artist Studio Tour

Open Segmented Walnut Pot

This was just an experiment that I had in mind to try for a long time. I had seen other people make similar vessels using jigs and convoluted methods to get this effect. This was done by putting strips of pvc lumber between regular segments. The glue won’t stick to this material and I was able to just pop them out before turning. The lid is temporary and came from another project sitting in stock (and just happened to fit perfectly — what a shock). This may be good for a potpourri pot or house a candle (without using the lid or and LED candle with lid on). 

Reworking a segmented vessel

This project I did many months ago but I never really liked it. The original had a wide lip and was dyed an orange color. After reshaping and building a new lid I think the finished product presents itself much better and the maple and walnut segments retain their natural beauty. I tried to bring the new walnut lid’s shape into the overall shape of the urn in a natural flow.

Lidded Walnut Jar

From a log I cut last year from a fallen tree. Cut on a day that was about 110 degrees in the shade! It was time to move this along now that it had seasoned for almost a year. Plenty of sap wood to accentuate the dark walnut grain. The lid shown here did not please me so I replaced it with a solid cherry one (can be seen at Etsy with the new lid)

Currently Available in my Etsy Store

Recreation of past green dyed urn

Once again I turned something similar to one I really liked that sold recently. I didn’t bring the photo up of the old project since I didn’t want to duplicate it. I went back after finishing and looked though and I like this one even better. Up to  6 coats of lacquer but I plan on a few more to take care of a few flat spots. This was the first day I had to spray outside for quite a while. Rain did come in a couple of hours after I finished, I guess I got lucky. The lid is some canary wood of which I have a few small pieces squirreled away. This will probably end up on Etsy next week.