Category Archives: Collections

Element 4 – Air

2015-09-27 13.35.15Yes, you’re right there was a different Element 4 pot up a couple weeks ago but I pulled it from the series because it didn’t please me. I got scads of compliments on it but it had to please me to be in the series. I let this one dictate the design and the big knot just screamed sun and the random swirls and tan spots said desert so I named it “Desert Sky“. I’m not sure what kind of wood this is be we determined a lot of things it wasn’t. Once again not sure where it came from, I just have logs sitting around now. This one completes the series, the last one has taken it’s rightful spot on the wall of shame.


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Element 3 – Water

2015-09-11 15.32.25This piece is called “Ocean Bottom”¬†because the hues suggest an ocean bottom rather than a murky river bottom. The effect is accentuated by bits of plankton floating around and the dark area at the very bottom. I wanted to use a different type of finial on this one and this one is a stylistic dolphin beak breaking up from the surface. I wanted to stick a “pearl” in the mouth but had nothing around the shop that could be used. The finish is 10 coats of lacquer but the true shine is not really visible in my light box — maybe time to upgrade it? It took a while to finish this due to a vacation last week but I did finish it today and moved on to the next element — air.

Element 2 – Fire

Turned sycamore urn with fire colors

Up From The Embers – Element 2

I call this one “Up From The Embers“. I decided to do an element series of urns using different colors and techniques — all from Sycamore which is white enough to give me a blank canvas to work with.¬† On this particular piece I used red, black and yellow alcohol dyes. Although many of the application techniques were the same I used on the Mother Earth piece, the effect is totally different. It does have a fire feel to the appearance. I also brought the colors up to the finial. I felt it needed a bit of natural wood to rein the colors in a bit so I used walnut for the lid and transitioned into that with a purple heart rim. I used a gloss acrylic to get a high gloss finish. I like the look but the piece feels a bit “plasticy”. The next in the series has 10 coats of lacquer which feels a bit better — but nothing feels quite like wood except wood. That should be posted next weekend and the hint is “water”.

Element 1 – Earth

Turned sycamore urn with earth tones

Mother Earth – Element 1

I keep going back to playing with color just for the artistic possibilities color adds to the woodturner’s tool palette.¬† With this piece I was striving for a marble look. I think I got that and figured out a few techniques in the process that I will use in the next piece. And since it was just a practice piece anyway I had something else to try. I had picked up some hemp twine to try insetting a band of that. That was a failure on this pot. I used CA glue to glue the string in but it wicked though causing big blotches so then I tried to color the string with water based dye which only looked nasty when I got done. Next week I am going to pull all that out and dry again with a clear glue of some sort. I really want to perfect this technique because the texture is just wonderful against the high gloss finish. The purple heart rim is another nice accent. If I replace the string I think this piece will be a keeper.

Update: old title “Experiment in marbleizing”. I got this one fixed now. The trick I found was to use super glue gel which won’t weep into the hemp twine. The third time was gold. I also found some multi-colored hemp which had the other colors of the urn already in it. Sweet! I call this one “Mother Earth