Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Altering Your Work: Re-turning a piece when something about it doesn't work

Hi Everyone,

I've been working on an urn for a friend who lost a much loved cat earlier this year. It's made out of laminated pine, Brazilian cherry, and black walnut. I designed the urn around a series of arcs to give it a smooth, flowing line and to make it very smooth and touchable. Instead it wound up overly oval and it resembles a large, wooden egg, which was not my intention.

Here is a photo:

I looked at the urn for about a day and decided that I had the following options:

1. Re-turn the body of the urn into a different shape,
2. Re-turn the lid into a different shape,
3. Add a finial,
4. Discard the entire urn and start again from scratch.

As I like the body of the urn and overall it serves the function of storing remains very well, I decided to alter the lid first as that can alter the excessively oval shape.  If that doesn't work well, I'll add a finial. As a last resort, I'll re-do the entire project from scratch.

Here are photos of the lid to begin with:

The top of the lid is dominated by a large central walnut disc which just overpowers the lid visually:

So on the lathe it went. First I reduced the size of the walnut disc. Then I turned several steps into the cherry portion of the lid and it came out like this:

 And this is what it looks like:

Here it is on the urn:

It does break up the shape without radically altering the design.

Ok, I'm going to just look at this for the next day or two and if I'm still satisfied with it, I'll send it off to my friend.