Saturday, September 16, 2006

Work in Progress

The work continues as the outside is sanded and the hollowing well begun. the sides are starting to take shape inside. This wood is hard and dry so it is slow going, but a lot of fun. Now all need is time to turn. There are more pics up on the web site at
Work in Progress (4) .

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Work in progress 2

The piece is starting to shape up and I am getting ideas of where to go with it. Sorry about the links. See the progress at work in progress . Any comments are welcome.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Work in Progress - 1

For the sake of interest, I have decided to put up works in progress from time to time. Hopefully comments or suggestions may direct some of my so-called creative juices. Often I start a piece and it may be on the lthe for a week or more because work interferes with my time to turn, likely a familiar picture for most of us. At present I have a piece of 6" x 10" juniper on the go. More pictures and explanation are at the web site. Just follow the "new stuff" or the "work in progress" links.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Where did you start?

All of us who turn must have started somewhere. By that I mean we must have begun with one piece or one style, either faceplate or spindle turning. Everyone says you have to start with spindles, I think because it is cheap, easy (sort of) and safe, an important concern if you are the company selling a lathe and recommending a starting project. Of course, some people start to turn to turn spindles literally, for a chair or other furniture project.
I began while living in Sherbrooke Village, Nova Scotia, part of the historical museum (no, I was not an exhibit, thank you very much). It is considered a teaching village and Rick Lair, the wood turner and a chair maker extraordinaire, taught wood turning from time to time. In his class the first thing I made was shavings, just to practice. then I made a mallet, modelled after the potato mashers used in the 18th century. I still have the mallet.
That was about all for a good ten years or more. Then I got a lathe, one of the old single tube jobs. Still have it. At first I turned a couple of dibbers and rolling pins but I really got the lathe for bowls. So I put on a chunk of wood and turned a bowl. I read and turned some more bowls.
Now a days, more than ten years have passed, and likely 80% (just a guess) of my turning is spindles like pens, ornaments, dibbers and the like. When I need to refresh my memory and my skills, I turn a bowl. It reminds me of things like rubbing the bevel, choosing line and cut, determining the point of entry, relaxing to the cut and the like.
Really, I think face plate stuff is easier and more fundamental than spindle turning although both are fun and important. For sure a bowl gouge or an Oland tool is easier than a skew. When I teach I like to start folks on tealights and bowls.
So what about you? How did you start and what do you turn today?