After a 2 week trip to Ireland, I am ready to get back to the shop. Hoped to find some wood turning over there, but was disappointed. Maybe I should set up over there?
I had a great time at the the tour and met a lot of very interesting folks. The weather was gorgeous after anticipating hurricane conditions. I was also able to sell 20% of my inventory on hand, so I have been working hard to replace the items I sold to have plenty for the holiday season. I often get on a theme and keep it up so I used up some more of my spalted wood stash to go back to my “honeypot” design from a couple of years ago. This piece is spalted oak with sapele top and bottom and would be perfect for holding tea bags or anything else you may have in mind.
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.
I am now displaying and selling at the Le Hatchery Gallery in Easton. The place is huge and chock full of artistic goodness. Also available is custom print work and framing. Big plans are in store for this off the beaten path gallery to increase visibility and I am fortunate to get in on the ground floor so to speak. Stop buy. http://lehatchery.gallery/
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).
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.
Okay, I missed day 1. I had quite a few celebratory beers Tuesday night and was slow going on Wednesday although I did get quite a bit of cleaning done. Thursday I got a bunch of pieces ready and took them up to the Green Phoenix in Easton. She just loved them all and I am totally out of the flower bowls now so I had to do one more of those. I also started on a new lidded bowl (to the left). I have a new lead on an apothecary who would like to see my work to sell in his
store so I need more of the jar type vessels. This one is a piece of willow and the first time I have ever turned willow. It was freshly cut and still quite moist but I got the moisture down to 15% now with the microwave and today I can get it further. The vessel is screaming for color and who am I to deny it. Will post the result tomorrow.
I took the plunge and decided to retire from my day job. It was not very fulfilling and after 35 years of stifling my creativity by spending 40 hours a week doing mundane work I need to stretch the boundaries and see what I could do in the shop. Consequently I had a string of well-wishers stop by the shop over the weekend and though I had several projects going, this walnut piece was the only one that got to the almost complete stage. The first day of freedom is Wednesday and is already scheduled to be massive shop clean up day which has been totally ignored due to the limited time i have had out there up until now.
I hope everyone had a good Christmas. I certainly did. I received a power carver which i will be using to embellish pieces in the upcoming turnings. I do need a bit of practice on it but with practice comes proficiency. I may have mentioned that my son is a metal artist and blacksmith so he made me a miniature lathe out of steel. It measures about 5″ in length. The amount of detail in this is phenomenal right down to the log being turned and the bowl gouges laying on the bed — we’re taking about a long labor of love. Thanks Nick!
It was such a gorgeous day out yesterday (69 degrees in the middle of December!) that I decided to try my hand at using a spray gun to spray lacquer. I don’t have a proper spray gun yet but tried my “little critter” gun instead. It worked just fine for the lacquer but had way too much over spray so I am ordering a real gun today. The pot to the left was one I experimented with. It had about 8 coats by the end of the day and now has been fine sanded in preparation for some more finish coats. The top shown is actually from another pot and I used it as a test to see what kind of top would look the best on this piece — that’s not what I’ll be using, I have something else in mind. I actually doesn’t look bad with the low sheen but I want to keep the experiment going.