Category Archives: Bowls and Dishes

That’s Why They Call It The Blues

2016-01-08 15.35.29To paraphrase Donovan Leitch, Blue is a color I rarely use. This time I wanted a straight up blue bowl. I also wanted to try out my new air brush which worked fine but I still need practice to get the blends I want. Of course, the inside is natural with clear coats of shellac. This is the butt end of a piece of sycamore that was used for the last spittoon project. At this point it only has a sealer coat and will be wet sanded today and multiple coats of lacquer applied. I’m thinking I may keep the top as a matt finish and gloss up the bottom section. We’ll see how that looks. I’ll add more photos when complete.More Views and comments

Spalted Oak Bowl

2016-01-03 16.31.37I had no idea what was was in this stump when I put it on the lathe. What I found was some really nice spalting and figure. It seemed a little plain so I used the same epoxy as was on the unnatural edged bowl to add an accent ring at the top. The color was perfect to accentuate the piece. This again was a defect driven piece. I had to turn away some junk and ended up with the shape you see. I also brushed on multiple coats of lacquer and rubbed them back to a satin sheen so filled the loose grain well and feels smooth. Still on the project a day plan but in the meantime I have done more than one. I had to do multiples of the Ebony No Ivory piece because everyone seemed to want one.

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Unnatural Edge Turned Deep Dish Bowl

2016-01-02 17.08.07Okay, a bit over the top I know but everybody turns natural edge bowls and as we know, I’m not everybody! I started on a natural edge bowl but decided to remove the bark and use colored epoxy on the rim just to see what it would look like. I also wanted to color the outside and it was easy to go to the epoxy that to color up close to bark. The epoxy was colored with powdered dye and although it was 5 minute epoxy the dye seemed to slow the drying down to maybe 20-30 minutes before I could sand. The piece now has a high lacquer shine but I may rub it down to a satin. The rim could have been sanded a bit better – there is a bit of pitting. Also in retrospect the color should have been more of a contrast but it was an experimental piece — I gotz plenty o’ wood!

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Green Hornet

2016-01-01 15.43.40Another day, another project. This a piece of Sycamore with a nice bluish green motif. I duplicated the shape from the spittoon (roughly) project a few days ago. This also has a lacquer finish which started out as a high gloss but was converted to an almost satin finish by rubbing down with progressively finer abrasive pads (Mirka). The inside was left with more gloss but the gloss on the outside was distracting on top of the colors. Also there is a band of black on the outside rim to break up where the color meets the natural rim.

Ebony no Ivory

2015-12-27 14.50.20The ebonizing project was a resounding success. It actually started out as a dyed project that went horribly wrong. It sat on the work bench for almost a year before it was time to decide whether to bin it or do something with it. The process was so simple yet elegant. With my old stand by — the common Q tip and a bottle of India Ink, I was able to go from trash to treasure in a matter of minutes and end up with a true black. I wanted an ivory colored lid but this piece of quilted maple was the best I could do and it just looks right against the stark black. And since it was a sunny 70 degree day (on a December  27th) I got out my new spray gun and did multiple pieces that had been waiting for just that kind of weather. This one only got one coat to seal in the ink and it ended up with a nice low luster sheen just like I wanted. I really needs to be handled to be truly appreciated though. This one will be residing on my mantle  since it was a Christmas gift for my wife.More Views and comments

Update on Spittoon Turning

DSCN0999Okay, I was able to break away to the shop for a while on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for a while and get this finish job complete. I don’t think anyone else can notice where the finish repair was made – I can because I know where to look. I brushed several thinned layers of lacquer on the first day and yesterday went out and gave it a good wet sanding and added two layers of spray lacquer on. I couldn’t get out the new spray gun because it was raining outside. While that dried I started ebonizing a piece where the color job was not pleasing me. I should have that complete today.

Since I am on 2 weeks of vacation time I can get a lot done — both in the shop and around the house. I hope to post the ebony project tomorrow.

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Turned Wood Spittoon

2015-12-19 17.27.14That’s right — a spittoon turned out of more of that still-green beech but don’t spit in it please! This is the raw project which leads to a longer story. I bought a new spray gun this week and as I usually am impatient, I wanted to try it out this weekend. I spent hours coloring this bowl and it turned out great — beautiful colors and blends while incorporating that nice pink knot into the design. It was going to go to a special friend on Christmas Eve. Well I can’t spray lacquer inside my shop so I set up in the driveway, despite the cold weather we had on Sunday. The gun worked great but in a fit of over-zealousness I got a bit of a run. While trying to wet sand that out I found the lacquer had not cured below the surface. I’m now afraid of sanding into the dye. Needless to say some repair work will need to be done on Christmas Eve morning which was not on my schedule. If it turns out, I’ll post a photo. Mistakes are a good thing if you learn something from them. Lesson learned this time: give lacquer ample opportunity to dry before sanding!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Colored Rim Bowl

2015-12-06 17.02.17Tis the season to lose a lot of shop time due to putting up Christmas decorations and other holiday related tasks. But I did get several smaller pieces completed that had been sitting around and one bowl nearly completed that I turned out of a hunk of discolored maple. I wanted to try a solid color rim and I just happened to find paint pens in town Saturday morning and thought I would give that a try. It worked just as expected although it may have been easier if I had sealed the raw wood first but you learn by doing. overall the bowl has a nice green color and I love the  contrast of the natural wood on the inside. It’s a keeper.

Calabash Bowl

2015-11-29 16.48.11I call it a small fruit bowl but is is about 9″ in diameter. This was an experiment in turning wet wood. This piece of Beech was cut last week and I normally wait a long time for it to season but I really wanted to see what I could do with it. My process was to turn it thick, put in the microwave, turn some more, put back in the microwave, turn some more….. you get the picture. Oh, it also involved a lot of slinging water!  I think it took 5 trips to the oven before it seemed dry enough to color. Now I have it sitting in the house on the “wait and see” program. If it warps or cracks I’ll write it off as a learning process. Update: Dec. 22still no sign of any cracking or warping. Update: Dec 25 – gave it as a gift to the hostess, my unofficial mom during the annual Christmas Eve party. It was a huge hit!

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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.More Views and comments