Wing-ed Thing "Winter Solstice"

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Project by Mark Wilson posted 12-22-2016 09:28 PM 1828 views 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Another Cuttus Interruptus
This one started as a Jacaranda log that was about 10” long and 4” diameter. It was a long time in coming. I began turning it about six months ago. It was a “set-aside,” among many. As set-asides go, it was truly ugly. I just didn’t see it going anywhere. Then, about two weeks ago, I remounted it.
I took a mess of photos of the journey. I’ll share just a few. What I thought were the most interesting photos – the process of turning the lid – somehow, vanished, after I loaded them into my computer for editing. (Russians stole them, I bet.) Pity. You’d have enjoyed it. That little lid came out of a gnarly knot of the same wood, and surprised me.
After making it a little less gastly, I became aware that, if I was going to flip it in the chuck and add some elegance to the bottom, I had to really plan ahead. While that small opening might sustain the pressure of an expanding pin jaw for sanding, I was pretty sure it wouldn’t hold up to the amount of material removal I was envisioning. So, I had to rethink the opening. This was where the idea of adding a lid began. It took a long while to come up with a solution. I concentrated on finishing the top of the body.

I fell in love, all over again, with Jacaranda. The mainly straight grain contains these remarkable little burl-like apparitions (battle scars?) that, to my eye, really wake it up.

I slathered the bark with WOP in an effort to keep from blowing too much of it off. I also BLO’d the wing, added WOP and called it done, still trying to imagine how I’d go about flipping it.

An entire re-imagining of the bowl of the Thing was in order. I needed something that the 2” jaws could get a good purchase on.

A plinth, of sorts, that could double as a lid set.

Now, flipped, what is it I’m looking for, overall? Still, somehow, up in the air over whether the top is done, I’m being careful not to boldly remove the pin jaw recess, while trying the bring the underneath shape into focus. I’d had it in my head, for a long time, to wind up with a wing that appeared to have a cone-shaped bowl set into it, as though through a whole in the wing. Then, I moved the goalpost. Instead, it would be a wing that has a bowl sitting on top, causing a slight sag in the wing, with something small squeezing through, like a drip from the bowl. Boldly, I go. Bye bye, recess.

Squeeze. Drip.


If I ever locate the lid photos, I may write a Blog. It was quite a ride, the way that thing emerged.

And, because this Jacaranda is so lovely, I did a little work on the stub, after I finished the lid.

The name came about because, of course, I completed it on December 21st.

Not wanting agonize over a high shine, I finished it with Satin WOP. The length wound up at about 8”, the height, about 3-1/2”, including the lid.

That’s about all I have to say.

Thank you. And, I apologize.

If you have trouble making both ends meet, try making one end vegetables.

-- Mark

24 comments so far

View luv2learn's profile


2873 posts in 2504 days

#1 posted 12-22-2016 09:35 PM

The piece turned out beautifully Mark. One day I will work up the courage to try turning winged pieces. Merry Christmas!!

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View ThistleDown's profile


48 posts in 918 days

#2 posted 12-22-2016 10:30 PM

That came out really nice Mark, good job. Happy Yule

-- My biggest fear is that when I am gone, my wife will sell my tools for what I told her I paid for them.

View Roman - THE BOOTMAN's profile


981 posts in 2887 days

#3 posted 12-22-2016 10:35 PM

Mark, this is a beautiful piece. Thanks for sharing it!
Regards, Roman

-- Author of POWER CARVING BOOTS & SHOES - Schiffer Publishing. Available online or your favourite bookstore.

View lew's profile


12428 posts in 3956 days

#4 posted 12-22-2016 10:43 PM

+1 for what Lee said!

Nicely done, Mark!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View John's profile


1310 posts in 1471 days

#5 posted 12-22-2016 10:53 PM

I like the look of bark on projects more and more, real nice contrast to the lovely wood. Awesome job Mark!

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

View CFrye's profile


10483 posts in 2041 days

#6 posted 12-22-2016 11:05 PM

Wow! Beautiful piece, Mark! Thank you for explaining the process. Happy Soltice and Merry Christmas!

-- God bless, Candy

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2595 posts in 3885 days

#7 posted 12-22-2016 11:08 PM

Turned out real nice Mark, like the bark effect and the overall finished project. Some great turning. Have a merry Christmas Mark and keep these works coming.

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View BobWemm's profile


2555 posts in 2127 days

#8 posted 12-22-2016 11:14 PM

WOW. Great job Mark.
There is no doubt that the Natural Edge makes the difference between an ordinary piece and a great piece.
Merry Christmas to you and your family.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2292 posts in 1264 days

#9 posted 12-23-2016 12:45 AM

Thank you, all. And a Mele Kalikimaka back at ya.

BobW, I put another piece of the Jacaranda on the lathe today. I’m getting close to having the outside done, after a couple hours’ work. It was instigated by VIMH, saying,

“That’s nice. But are you capable of making an ordinary round bowl, like normal turners seem to be content with?”

”Well, Smartypants. Let’s see,” said I.

Well, sir, It looks like it’s gonna have a live edge, and a goofy top profile. So, I guess not.

-- Mark

View BrentH's profile


72 posts in 1240 days

#10 posted 12-23-2016 02:02 AM

You never cease to amaze! Can’t wait to see the next one that’s in your lathe at the moment.

Btw, Merry Christmas to you! Enjoy that California sunshine for some of the rest of us.

-- Brent H. --"This retirement stuff is hard work. I need to go get a job so I can get some rest!"

View bushmaster's profile


3344 posts in 2483 days

#11 posted 12-23-2016 02:38 AM

Totally amazing work to get something so nice out of a piece of wood that small. I have this piece of wood that I thought would lend itself to a winged turning. 16 by 7 inches. about 7 the other way. odd growth from a firewood tree. Its curved.

Merry Christmas from Brian and family

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21731 posts in 3306 days

#12 posted 12-23-2016 04:14 AM

That is really cool and unique, Mark. Nice going!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View doubleDD's profile


7889 posts in 2244 days

#13 posted 12-23-2016 04:34 AM

What the heck Mark. There’s talent there that I didn’t know existed. Very nice piece.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Tooch's profile


1819 posts in 2077 days

#14 posted 12-23-2016 11:13 AM

Looks great Mark. Be sure to tell the VIYH that ordinary round bowls are for ordinary people. turning winged bowls has got to take some testicular fortitude, with that much spinning mass I’m sure it is a daunting task.

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2292 posts in 1264 days

#15 posted 12-23-2016 11:35 AM

The piece turned out beautifully Mark. One day I will work up the courage to try turning winged pieces. Merry Christmas!!

- luv2learn

Lee, courage has nothing to do with it. Sharp tools, light touch, proper presentation, etc. (Did you know, for instance, that, just as you ride the bevel on any turning, you ride the bevel on a cuttus interruptus. One just really has to train one’s hand NOT to push into the piece, but, instead, use the tool rest for all it’s worth, in maintaining the proper presentation.) Like anything we do do in life, one adapts; one grows accustomed to repeated behaviors.

-- Mark

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