With regards to the blue ware kick I'm on:
I decided to seal the wood before I stained it and here is a photo of it ready to go:
...and as you can see, the wood sealer brought out the natural pinkness of the wood.
I've looked around at several different types of wood dyes and decided to begin with readily available dyes. I went and purchased a bottle of Rit Fabric Dye in navy blue:
Those of you who survived the '60s will remember Rit Dye from all the tie dying and other crazy activities we did back then. I decided to use it because it's readily available and it's non-toxic.
I flooded the surface of the face with dye and left it for about 5 minutes:
Since this is a water based dye and the sealer I used is oil based, the dye is beading up some.
After 5 minutes I took a paper towel and turned on the lathe and wiped it off with the intention of rubbing the dye into the surface and here is what I got:
The pink and the blue combined to give off a purple color.
I'm going to let this completely dry for the next several hours and come back and see what it looks like. I may apply a finish right then and there-we'll see.
If the whole thing looks terrible, I can always re-sand the surface and begin again. I'll post more photos tonight.