Day off…

I had to have a day off today because my daughter doesn’t return to school until Tuesday and Mum went back today. Whilst she occupied herself I updated cobwebcrafts…long overdue and I took the quick option, but at least it’s done for now.

I’ve also just had some good news for US readers…chestnut products should be available in your stores in a few months or so. So all those wanting to try the chestnut spirit stains will be able to stain away to your heart’s content. When they get there give them a try. You’ll be glad you did.

I’ve also caught up on a raft of emails that were overdue a reply, so if you were calling me rude names you’ve probably got mail in your box.

But today leaves me with a question…why can I stand at a lathe all day and have no soreness in my legs, and yet sit at the laptop all day and I feel like I’ve been beaten by neanderthal man with a large stone club?

19″ ash display platter…

This platter is turned as a display platter. It can be hung as a decorative object, but used as a table center piece when the need arises. The wood is Ash, 19″ diameter, stained and waxed. It comes from the same tree as the previous coloured ash bowl, and I couldn’t resist turning it after looking at the blank for weeks and wondering if it should be a wall plaque or a platter. I couldn’t decide so I settled on a dual purpose platter. The wax hasn’t cured yet so it’s a little shiny at present, and I noticed a finger mark in the wax when I downloadedthe picture, but you’ll get the idea.

Platters are pretty easy to turn, but this blank was a pig: twisting grain, spalted areas, ripple, feather, knots…it was all there to confound all the textbook cuts, so a few unconventional cuts were required to bring it under control. Anyway…here it is…

19" Ash platter

Hollowing rig…

Yesterday I tried the hollowing rig to see if it makes a difference. It does. But I really don’t like using it. It seems to remove to feel and contact of free-hand hollowing, and will take some getting used to. I was also very aware of my shoulder, and possibly a little reticent about getting stuck in, so maybe it will change when the shoulder is healed?

I turned a piece of ash that came from the tree in a previous post. It isn’t dry but getting there, and there were two branch knots and some punky wood to contend with, but as a trial for the rig it was a good piece of wood to use. As there was some lovely figure in the ash, swirly grain, feather feature, and the knots, I thought it would be a good vessel to colour. And here it is…first a close up of the swirly grain and feather feature…

And the whole vase…

It was turned in two parts: body and neck section, abraded to 400G, sealed and coloured, hard wax and oil applied. I forgot to measure it but I think it’s about 10″ tall.

Prime suspect for the shoulder problem…

Is hollowforms. For ages now I’ve known that deep hollowing puts an incredible stress on the body; shoulders and arms in particular, and have avoided hollows for some time. But like everything you come back to them, and recently I’ve done a few and I think this is one of the causes of the shoulder popping out again.

On saturday I’d been cutting wood for the fire (another likely candidate for a cause) and there was a small piece of Elm that was worth turning, and a discus hollowform seemed like a good idea. The hollowing was completed on saturday.¬†On monday I was off with the shoulder, but I had to go back in today and decided to take it easy and finish it. It needed a finial of some sort and I thought and thought about it…and then I had an idea…

I had a large slice of seriously burred Yew that could be cut into small blocks for finials, but the problem was there were a large number of voids in it. How would I get around the voids? The answer came in the turning..don’t get around the voids, work with them and make a hollow burr yew finial.

Had this been a solid lump of wood I’d have made the finial smaller, but had I turned this any smaller it would have been in a hundred pieces…

So…does it work with the larger finial?