Sorry folks for the hiatus. Been a hectic beginning to the New Year but not entirely unproductive. Towards the ending of last year, an announcement was made that the company I work for has been sold to a company in India. This has caused me to reflect a little on life, evaluate my future, and come to terms with the fact that I have made the transition to my middle aged years. Most of this will be fodder for another blog. In the interim, I spent a little bit of time working on my turnings.
Last year, I have been fortunate enough to develop a good friendship with fellow LJ Mike Wurm (aka JockMike2) who took me under his wing and introduced me to some of the basics of hollow form turning. Over the course of half a year, I was able to get the gist of basic forms. I did nothing elaborate, most of my work consisted of attempts to define structure and shape in my vessels so that a bowl looked like a bowl, a cup a cup, and so on and so forth. I was fortunate enough to acquire two new turning tools during the last few months of the year which allows me to expand the potential for this year.
One of the tools that is often reached for in Mike’s shop, especially during the “school of woodturning” sessions that Rick (Rustic) and I were privileged to have with Mike, is a large round nose gouge that had enough heft to take heavy cuts and at the same time was able to leave a finished surface. Mike had a round nose head without a handle and he was kind enough to turn a handle, mount the gouge, and give it to me as a gift to help with my turning. I have been gaining some experience on the grinder and on the Work Sharp 3000 and so I was able to regrind the chisel to a longer angle, more of a fingernail profile and it has become my number one tool of choice for the lathe. I affectionately call it the Wurmenator (no dirty jokes please) and the profile allows me to round blocks and natural pieces rather quickly without leaving the gouge marks that a roughing gouge tends to leave. Since the piece is sheared as I round, the surface is smoother and requires less time with the skew and scraper to work out any of the marks. It is also good at beginning the hollow on larger vessels or refining shapes using both delicate and aggressive cuts without much vibration. Here is the tool, along with a Sorby spindle chisel which is another recent acquisition.
Mike has also gifted me with some Black Walnut and Osage Orange pieces he acquired from Raven’s Farm, a saw mill located not too far from our residences. I am currently working on an urn with the Osage Orange. Those astute in the usual positioning of turnings will note that I have the top of the piece mounted on the headstock, where typically the tail end of a piece would go. While working the piece, I decided I liked the grain better in its current shape and will be making a switch on the mount soon. Here is the piece in its rough form.
The Black Walnut I am using to try to bring out more detail in a turning. This requires more concentration on control. The spindle gouge is useful for creating beads and more decorative details, which is what I am attempting to become more accomplished with this year. I am a lover of history and also of symbolism in many cultures. What I want to create is something that gives the feeling of age and depth that we often feel when we see a hand made piece from an era that existed long ago. I am still very much in the experimental stage and we will see what comes to the surface.
I have lurked much in the background, made a few sparse comments. Hopefully my involvement will increase again as things become more settled in my mind. Love to you all and keep the shavings coming.
-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.