Friday, May 30, 2014

May Challenge

My entry for the UK workshops May Challenge which has the subject, "Three Woods"  breakfast is ready here with an egg of Olive Ash, egg cup of Holly and plate of Beech.  Actually I forgot about the challenge and had to put this together a bit quickly today.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Small Bowl

Back to basics a bit, the coloured items, while striking, do not seem to be currying much favour among the purchasing set, in fact very little of late has been moving at all. That being so I am stocking up on a few more "traditional" items, mainly bowls, to have a good variety available and thus hopefully please at least someone well enough to generate a sale.  First completed item then is this little (7" X 2") Sycamore fruit bowl, nice simple design, but still elegant (well, I think it is anyway!) Please leave a comment whether you think so or not, I appreciate all and any feedback.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Oak vase II

This is the second little pot or vase I made from the Oak log "rescued" from the roadside ditch in Slebech.
Inspired by a similar pot, which had been artificially "aged" in Richard Raffan's book "The art of turned bowls" I wanted to produce a similar effect.
It was turned green (as was the first one) and once I had completed turning the outside I tried to ebonize it by burning it with a propane blowtorch, but the wet wood was not only resisting the flame really well, the inner parts of the grooved section wasn't altering in the slightest.  Patience ran out and I resorted to black stain which I then buffed heavily to try and gain a little patina, I did not over sand the piece as I wanted a very coarse turned look, I think I managed to get most of what I wanted, but the paler undercolour of the wood where it shows through need to age and darken on it's own before it will become properly convincing.

It's very nice to handle though!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Oak Vase

After the recent storms that fetched down so many trees I am often finding odd branches on the roadside that have been thrown to one side to clear the way, mostly they are impractically large to get into the car, but I did manage to get a nice Oak branch from Slebech a few weeks back, from the largest section I made two very different little pots or vases (you decide!)  this is the first one to be completed, coloured but only lightly, the medulary rays and growth rings make a very interesting pattern, like a spiders web.

The pot is quite small, about 3.5 inches tall. Finish is Melamine.


I finally got round to photographing the little offcut oddity now it has been finished. Here are a couple of shots.  You can see this being made on youtube here.

Saga of the Sphere

I had yet another piece of spalted Beech that I had been waiting to work on, but I left it a little long and it developed a drying split, plus the spalting was pretty uninspiring, so the decision was made to turn a sphere (I use the term loosely, turned freehand a sphere is pretty difficult, well it is for me anyway, I have no jigs, only a paper template)

So, after turning and hollowing it was an obvious candidate for colouring, this was done and sealing and lacquering commenced, during the lacquer stage though i got a bit of a run and so i ran the lathe very slowly to even it out, it was running backwards, no problem, or so I thought, sometime in the next half hour while I was making breakfast the chuck screwed itself off the lathe and the entire assembly crashed to the concrete floor, busted the split wide open and fractured right across the middle as well as several nasty scratches and dents.

I was a bit peeved.

Nothing daunted, I set to making an attempt at a repair, these are the stages after I got the wood back in place (by means of the hammer pictured!)

I found it interesting that the wood was turned a pale green by the colouring when I sanded it back. In the end though I managed to make a reasonably good repair.

Sphere complete

Here are a few images of the completed sphere and the little stand I made for it. The stand is finished with ebonizing lacquer, gold dust and the whole lot over sprayed with satin lacquer.

Made from Beechwood the sphere is approximately 7.5 inches in diameter, coloured with Chestnut spirit stains, and finished with spray melamine buffed to a high gloss.
The stand is made from a single piece of Sycamore.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Couple of new items

These have been waiting for completion for some time, the bowl was quite badly split from drying in the round and I wasn't at all sure about whether to continue with it, the Little hollow form though was just roughed out and it was more a case of how to colour it, I find the colouring process can be difficult to start off at times and I am not completely happy with it as it is right now, I seem to be in a bit of a rut with regards to the different combinations of colours, I also have a further item in the lathe that is slightly different, but I am definately thinking of a change of direction colour wise for a few future projects.

The bowl is in Holly with the Turqoise fill for the cracks, it works for me at least.

The Hollow Form is Sycamore, I like the bit of bark that remains, it looks like old leather.