Not long after my last post, my uncle messaged me and said he wanted to buy one of my pieces, “you are the artist so you please choose” is what he said. When pressed, he said that he would love a bowl for his dining room table. I had a few pieces turned already, but for family that just won’t do. I took a look at the stock I had out in the shop and nothing really jumped out at me… to the wood shed!!! I found a really nice maple log from a tree felled in my own yard, and it was game on.
Two splitting wedges, a splitting axe and a five pound sledge later. This is what a fifty pound maple log looks like.
Four dead batteries later, I had the corners knocked off so it would fit on the lathe. Maybe I should get a corded saw….
Roughing out the outside, and prepping to core out the inside.
I had developed a clear image in my head of what I wanted it to look like, I was trying to picture my uncle’s space and dining room table. (He sent me pictures after this was done, I was pretty spot on) On to shaping the outside, and cleaning up the inside. I wanted to keep the deep knots and character of the center of the wood, so I couldn’t thin the walls down too much.
In the end, it was the largest and heaviest piece I have done so far. It weighs almost five pounds.
Once the butcher block conditioner went on and brought out the color and grain, I knew that I had found exactly what I wanted to in that giant log.
I find that it is getting easier to turn pieces for the people I love. Those that have followed my adventure with this art so far know that wasn’t always the case. I love what I do, but doing what I love for the people I love gives it so much more meaning. A part of me goes into the finished piece and stays with it forever. May it grace your home with joy and happiness, Uncle Jeff, I love you!
I look back to a time when I could see something like this…
A big chunk of firewood. I love a good fire as much as anyone, more maybe… and then I started to look at pieces of firewood like this one, and see this….
Not long ago, a split like this would have had this piece in the cull bin, eventually being chalked up as a mistake or learning opportunity and burned in the same firepit it dodged once already. Once. This time, I pushed on. Carefully, and hesitantly.
I worked past the worst of the checks and knots, the flaws in the wood started to be its most amazing assets.
What I found inside was worth the time and risks I took to find it.
Getting back into the swing of things, rescuing some lovely bowls from a chunk of cedar that was destined for the fireplace.
I made this little bottle!
After a bit more practice with the small ones, I will try a full size wine bottle.
So… remember the little lidded boxes that I did for my mom? Well I got one back in the mail today, and what can I say? My mom is amazing.
I made some shot glasses out of this wood before, and finally acquired a piece big enough to do a full wine glass. This is how it looked before I oiled it.
And this it what it looks like after the first coat of oil.
Panga panga! (I like saying the name) Another dark wood from Africa. I had originally started a wine glass out of this beautiful wood, only to find that it had begun to split. (sad face) But I was able to salvage enough of it to make an over-sized shot glass!
Today I spent some quality time with two woods I haven’t worked with before. The dark one on the left is called chico zapote and the one on the right is a black and white ebony. Both of these are smaller than my usual work, given that the woods were trying their best to thwart my efforts, but I am no less happy with the results. The ebony cup has burned grooves along the stem to compliment the dark black streak in the wood.