Sunday, January 26, 2014

A small debate.

An online discussion about wood ID has prompted me to upload some images to make the case for the wood in question to be clearly NOT Laburnum, and quite likely to be Yew.

The discussion can be found Here

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Grass Trees

A friend gave me several pieces of exotic timber last summer (thanks again Ian!), among them were two lumps of Grass Tree root, odd looking things, and even stranger to turn, no shavings, dust from the off, or rather very very short fibres, but dust like enough to absolutely demand a breathing filter, I usually do anyway, but here it was vital.

All went well until the final stages of hollowing when I got a small catch and the thing flew into 5 separate pieces, I was not happy.  But once I recovered the bits I found that they knitted together prety well, so, much CA later, it was back in one piece, I finished hollowing it out and tidied up the outside to blend the small ridges where the joins were, and finished it with shellac.

It is about 7 inches wide and 4 inches or so tall.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

What's it for?

The ubiquitous question whenever something decorative but practically useless is on display at a craft table, it's not an unreasonable question, but does betray  a slight lack of imagination.  The best response I have heard of late though is  Pete Moncrieff-Jury's "To enhance your living space".  Perfect!

With that in mind I wonder who would consider their living space enhanced by this next oddity?

This is a hollow sphere (I use the term somewhat loosely!) balanced upon a tall pedestal which has a metal leaf finish in the small support bowl. Both items are in Sycamore, the stand is ebonized with black lacquer.
The sphere is also lacquered.

A new experience

Woodturners Unlimited is a forum which has as among it's members, some exceptional craftsmen and women, I am frequently in awe of the quality and thoughtful designs that appear in the posts each day. One of the features of the site is a critique section, you can submit your work to be critiqued by a team of 3 experienced turners who will independently assess your work and offer advice on improvements as well as comment on how they feel about the piece in general. I am not shy of offering such comments on the work of newer turners as they often request it in their hunt for information, knowledge and technique, but like many things, you never stop learning and so I sent in my blue vase for the team to check over.  I was a bit concerned as colour work is not everyones cup of tea and I did wonder if this would be a problem. My concerns however were ill founded as all three found positive things to say as well as offering several very useful tips for future pieces, not least in the photography dept!

My thanks to Terry Scott, Keith Burns and Richard Kennedy for taking the time to look the vase over and offer their thoughts and tips, much appreciated! :)

you can read the critiques here.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Back up and running!

December 23rd mt PC got fritzed in a thunderstorm, most frustrating! Now however I have a new beast that is a joy to use so at least that is a positive result. Consequently I am able to process and post up some recent projects.

This one is a direct take on the designs of David Decristoforo from the USA, I am very impressed with his designs, fluid, graceful and very innovative. My spin of course is the addition of colour, in this instance everything except the interior of the "goblet" is coloured is some fashion, stain for the red, ebonizing lacquer for the stem and schlagg metal for the outer part of the cup. Made from a single piece of Sycamore, the top is natural edged, the whole thing is finished with satin lacquer buffed to a gloss finish.