Sunday, April 21, 2013

Project Updates-Holly's Bowl, The Flower Vase, and the Pine Tea Box

Hi Everyone,

I have several projects that I began and stopped working on that I need to update you all on so here we go:

Holly's Bowl

If you'll recall, Holly's bowl had issues with cracking on the sides and it was also distorting due to differences in air temperature and humidity.  I took the bowl back out to the shop and let it stabilize for a while and here it is now:

The cracks all closed except the really large deep one, which has almost closed. If you look carefully you can just see where the cracks were. I'm going to squeeze a little bit of white glue into the large crack, wait about 5 minutes and begin sanding it. The wood dust will collect in the crack and virtually disappear. The entire bowl will need a lot of sanding but it spins true on the lathe so that shouldn't be a problem. More on this bowl as I finish it.

The Flower Vase

The flower vase I began the other day out of the decomposed wood looked pretty ragged.  The end grain was badly pitted from turning and I used oil on it which made it look muddy and dirty. So I took it back out to the shop and put it back on the lathe and re-cut the end grain and began removing the finish on it. Here it is at the moment:

It needs a lot of work but I think it is salvageable and I'll be able to use this type of wood in my work going forward. This also needs a lot of sanding and I'll keep you up dated on this.

The Pine Tea Box

I brought the tea box in the house after I finished cutting it and looked at it for about 2 weeks. I decided that I just didn't want to pain it blue but to release myself from the current "blue period" and explore other options.
I bought some wood stain in a pale grey color and applied that to the surface in a very thin coat so the wood grain would continue to show through and here is a photo:

This will give me a more neutral background than the yellow pine did and if I do apply other color to the surface, I'll get a truer, brighter color this way. I've left the inside alone for now and I'll be oiling that with flaxseed oil a little later. As soon as it's dry, I'll finish off the inside and use it for loose tea in my kitchen. I've been looked at pottery photographs online and some of the colors and finished potters use are amazing so I'm going to think about applying colors and enhancing the finish more. And I'll keep you updated on this as well.

And here is a project I began using a piece of a tree branch from a friend's linden tree:

I've been wanting to explore more rustic turnings of late and I decided to work on this as an experiment. You can see it's cracked and rough and the wood spalted as I left it outside and I like it. I want to assure you that I'm not planning on making a lot of cracked bowls but I am going to be exploring less refined finishes for a while and I'm also going to be incorporating the bark in some of my turnings too. Stay tuned for more of this.


I know these projects have gone on for a while now but sometimes it pays to leave a project alone for a while and think about what to do with it next. Rushing through a project can often leave you with a less than satisfied feeling and since these projects do take time and a lot of materials to accomplish, it's better to wait.

I'm going to make a bowl next out of red maple for a friend of mine and I'll post some photographs from that soon. And don't forget the Mother's Day wood turning marathon on May 12.

See you all soon,

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