Getting ready to work the Oxford Artists’ Studio Tour on Sunday, from noon to 4 PM in Oxford, MD. Will be sharing space with Sean Wells who is a fantastic painter! Hopefully it will be a learning experience for me in more than a few ways. I am delighted to move some inventory from the shop — more than 30 pieces. Some have been shown here, some not.
This maple blank was painted with white lacquer and has a teak top (which has been hanging around my shop for about 25 years). I have to say that I hate working with teak. It dulls tools quickly and smells awful but it sure is pretty when finished. Only one more white blank sitting on the bench after this one — I have special plans for it.
Since I have been turning a lot of black items I wanted to stretch a bit and do white. I had tried to achieve a transparent white in the past and was very disappointed so this time I went in a different direction. I got some white spray lacquer and used that. What i found was that certain areas of the wood wouldn’t take the lacquer which seemed odd. So this piece I ended up using spray paint. I did figure out that sealing the wood first with a coat of shellac solves the adhesion problem and have several other white projects in progress on the bench.
This piece of cedar was just too “cedary” for an urn like this so I decided to go the limit and ebonize it. This was done with black lacquer in a spray can (after a lot of careful taping). I had added the foot and rim before deciding to blacken the project but wanted to leave those natural. That did add a lot of time to the project. Plus trying to achieve a perfect finish in gloss black is a nightmare. I got about a 98% perfect finish — the best I could hope for. The top was done with white spray lacquer just for the dramatic contrast.
I had a small piece of maple that just looked horrible and it had some checks in it. It is too hot for a fire these days so I decided to use it up. I also had a few pieces of cherry on my bench that needed to be moved out so I glued them on as a foot and a rim. after turning the shape I wanted I tried filling the checks with CA glue but that didn’t make the cracks look any better I decided to use black lacquer but to make sure they didn’t show up I spun two coats of CA on it to bridge any remnants of the cracks – fail. After spraying on the black the evidence was still there. That’s when I put the acrylic on it. The cracks still show but are really hard to find unless you are looking for them.
I sometimes get into the groove and create multiples of a technique. This helps improve the technique and come up with better ways to do it. This piece is some spalted oak with cherry base and rim with the glass top like I posted a few projects ago. I have very little spalted wood around and pieces with this much black need to be mellowed out by a contrasting wood.
There is something very satisfying about chucking up something headed for the bin and turning it into something beautiful. The maple burl was just a wedge I got when squaring off a log. I was able to get a nice size piece about 4′ round and 2″ tall. The sapele was not scrap but I needed the dramatic contrast for the piece. The lid is cherry and walnut.
Some wood is too nice to toss and this cedar was no exception. Also the maple ring which was just cluttering up my bench — time to let it go as well. The cherry bits came out of the scrap box so it was totally a scrap wood project. On the cedar I tried a new experiment — I put orange alcohol dye in the shellac to brighten up the colors in lieu of dyeing the bare wood as I normally do. I was very pleased with the result – just a hint of color. I’m sure all wood turners have boxes of cut-offs and scraps that can be used for these types of projects.
This project was a rework of an older project from several years ago. It never really worked for me and has been in hiding but I pulled it out to clear out space and decided to go wild with it. I first ebonized it using black leather dye. The result is a nice leather texture on the black. Also the lid was rudimentary at best and it needed something a bit more dramatic to work with the black. The result is just wonderful with the glass. I also added a cherry knob to match the cherry rim left on the bowl itself.
I’ve been a bit slack on posting recently but not due to a lack of new projects — those I have in abundance. This one was driven by using up scrap wood, primarily that nice piece of spalted Pecan that was too nice to chunk but too small to make anything else. Everyone who sees it asks if it is an old map. The walnut is a perfect contrast. I ended up with a small hole for the lid to save all the spectacular grain and figure in the walnut at the top.
I have also been doing a lot of improvements in the shop recently including installing a new AC since it has been seriously hot and I still need to be out there. What a difference it makes!