|Project by swirlsandburls||posted 02-28-2009 08:27 PM||2079 views||4 times favorited||17 comments|
This Cedar vase started with a host of problems: a number of very deep cracks in the blank could not be turned off. I decided to try my first stone inlay project in a vessel. Most of my inlays are on mostly flat surfaces. Curved surfaces are much more challenging. I used the cracks as the basic outline for the twigs, extending them and adding carved branches.
Note that the outside was almost completely finished before hollowing. I left the piece in the chuck while inlaying and grinding the outside. Grinding the outside on the lathe is the best way to do this.
Two of the pictures show the carving and the first inlay step: the twig bark, which is done first and ground down almost completely. Then, I carved the needles and inlaid them with malachite in a second inlay step.
As you can see, this piece has at least three distinct grain patterns: waterfall, swirl, and an almost burl-like pattern where a limb intersected the main trunk.
Dry Cedar is a very challenging wood. It is soft, but very brittle. In fact, I cracked the bottom while hollowing, and the piece suffered, but still warrants a place on the mantle (or at the gallery). I really loved the natural edge flair at the top. All in all, one of my all-time favorites. On display at the Greenville Artists Guild Gallery on Main Street, Greenville SC.
-- patience is a virtue ... in woodworking, cooking, and life in general