Friday, August 31, 2012

Fall Turning Schedule

Hi Everyone,

Well I'm almost recovered from my strained knee and I can stand and walk around so it's time to get back to work.

I have a number of platters and plates that I need to make and I don't think I've written much about that so I'm going to go and dig out some lumber out of my wood pile and start turning. I'm also going to make several round cutting boards. This will involve laminating so those of you who are new to Selkie Wood Works can see how this is done.

I've also been working on spoon carving and I think my design is going to work well. I make my spoons out of kiln dried lumber so the wood is harder than unseasoned tree branches which is what most hand carved spoons are made from.  We'll talk about tools and technique for this as well.

I'm glad I'm getting back to work again so grab some coffee and drop by the wood shop. We've got more adventures ahead.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Excellence in Craft Work-Ernst Wright & Son

Hi Everyone,

I love craftwork and I'm especially happy when I find people who understand that function is the primary goal of craft but who also understand that the beauty of an object is important too. 

There is elegance and beauty in well done craft work. Ernest Wright & Son in Sheffield, UK, makes hand-crafted scissors and these are probably as close to perfection as craft can get. 

Take a look at their website and especially look at this description on their website:

Take a long look at their embroidery scissors on the page of their site: Those simple little scissors will last for decades.

Those scissors will last for decades and they are absolutely beautiful to look at. There should be an Academy Award or Noble-type prize for work like this.


Spoon making

Hi Everyone,

As I mentioned earlier I've recently injured one of my knees and I've had to stay off of it so I haven't done any turning lately. So I decided to do a little spoon carving instead.

Here's a photo:

A spoon was the very first thing I ever made many, many years ago and I've been thinking of taking it up again. The top two spoons in the photo are made out of basswood (similar to lime wood or linden wood for those of you in the UK or overseas) and the bottom one was made out of birch. The spoon in the middle is a large kitchen spoon and it has a nicely curved handle and bowl. It's long enough not to slip into a pan or pot while cooking. The bottom spoon was made out of birch and while it's a little shorter in length, I think I prefer this wood for spoons. It's hard and closed grained and it sands smoothly. I'm going to need to final sand these and then give them a thin coat of salad bowl finish.

We'll re-visit spoon making in future postings as it seems to be a popular activity, especially in Britain.

As my knee is improving I'll probably begin doing some turning next week. I have some platters and cutting boards to make and we'll do those together.

More later,


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sore knee

Hi Everyone,

In my great effort to stay healthy, I've strained one of my knees lifting weights several days ago and now my knee is stiff and a little painful so I'm staying off of it. So no wood turning until at least next week.

Instead I'm happily carving spoons at the moment and after about 6 prototypes, I think I have a good pattern down pat. When I'm done carving I'll send photos.

More later,


Monday, August 20, 2012

Project Updates-Bowl-o-Rama

Hi Everyone,
Well, here are the rest of the bowls I finished this summer. I've been experimenting with the finish and I must say I'm really pleased with the results. I'll share what I'm doing in a later posting as I'm still experimenting.

Silk Oak-I've been working on this bowl since early spring. It has an unusual grain pattern to it-it rather looks like fish netting. It's a lovely red color and has a satin-smooth finish on it.

Red Elm-I've made several red elm bowls this year and it has turned out to be a good turning wood. It's not terribly hard on the tools or my hands, and it sands and finishes very well. This will make an excellent salad or serving bowl or fruit bowl.

Rosewood-this is the first rosewood bowl I've made and the turning of it went very well. The key to turning a wide bowl like this is to do it in stages-I turned it four times and let it dry out very slowly. There was no distortion at the end and it too sanded and finished well. This bowl has been donated for the Blue House raffle later this fall.

American Cherry-I've turned cherry before and as scratches can be difficult to remove, its not exactly my favorite turning wood. This started out as a solid block of unseasoned wood and true to form it took a lot of sanding. Eventually I got it smooth. This is destined to be a Christmas present for a much loved friend later this year and will come with a matching hand-carved spoon.

Hickory-this is the last of an order of hickory from late last year and the wood from that order was a joy to work on. Hickory turns well but being pretty hard, can be tough on tools. It does finish well and the shop smells wonderful as hickory is a sweet-scented wood. I've passed on shavings to friends for smoking meat.

I'm gearing up for my fall turning schedule-I'll be making some platters and more cutting boards. And I'm going to open a seasonal sales gallery for some of my work so if you would like to purchase something you'll have the chance to do so. Stay tuned for that announcement in the coming weeks.