Friday, 29 March 2013


Not much to say about this, its just a variation on a theme from the last piece. Sycamore, four and a half inches tall with an untextured 'wiggle' band,

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Sycamore Form With Carved Feet

I cut up a four inch thick slab of my home milled Sycamore, it wasn't the longest piece I had but it made enough blanks to make my next twelve hollow forms from. It's great to finally have my own timber dry and ready to use, now I'm just waiting on my Walnut slabs to dry.....
 This one is four inches tall with carved feet, I have used the same texture pattern I used on a bowl a few posts back. I left the feet untextured to match in with the band and keep them obvious!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Cracked Yew Hollow Form

 I don't know why I keep messing around with this Yew log, it cracks and moves and is generally a pain in the proverbial!! Maybe its because Yew just seems like it should be treated with respect, there is just something special about this slow growing, long lived timber that just seems to make me persevere with it even though I probably shouldn't bother!
 This little form is about the same in width as it is in height,that is about four and a half inches.  The section of log it came from had, or so it seemed at the time, no cracks in it whatsoever, just for a moment I wondered if it would stay that way(it has been dried for a decade!). Of course as soon as I started working it, or more to the point hollowing it, the cracks started to appear! At this point I could have easily tossed it into the shavings, muttered something obscene and done something more constructive with my time! However I wanted to carve some feet on a short fat form to see how it looked and decided to continue, after all if it looked bad it wouldn't matter too much and could be consigned to the unsuccessful prototype collection(the fire bin....) .
 I completed the form and collar and was very happy with what the little legs did for the look of it, I had of course seen many examples of cracks 'stitched together with leather and thought that would look good on this and 'save' it. I must admit that I just whacked the holes through with the drill and haven't tidied up the edges of the holes but I think it adds to its rustic charm! LOL. It was a lot of 'fun' cough, cough. to thread and tie it through the opening of the vessel but I got there in the end. It has moved enough just to raise the edge of the collar a bit but apart from that I think its kind of 'cute'.....

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Yew and Ebony Bottle

 As I tend to do, I put the bottle form I made yesterday on the little sideboard that is under our TV so that I could look at it and more importantly think about it. I think it helps a great deal to do this, that is to be self critical, by doing so you can see where you could improve a design and through that  hopefully develop and  'grow' a little more as a woodturner.
 In this case I felt strongly enough about the design `changes I would make that I had to go and make another more refined version today. This one sits with me a little better than the other but they will both be standing side by side for a day or two on the sideboard so I can study them!!
 The changes are to the overall shape of the form,the  proportions of the parts and timber choice(for the stopper). Although this is roughly the same height as the first (its about 1/2 an inch higher) the bottle is an inch shorter and the stopper an inch higher which I think balances better. The shape is a little more rounded towards the bottom to give a more elegant 'drop' like form. The bands are also a little lower down but keep the same proportions relative to each other(the distance between the middle and top ones is about half that of bottom to middle. I have also used a piece of Ebony in place of the Oak for the stopper.
 I'm much happier with this one........

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Yew Bottle

 I was given a piece of Yew last weekend and was asked to make something from it for the guy that had given it to me. It wasn't very wide, infact it was a five inch wide branch,felled a decade ago, bone dry but full of cracks. To be honest its not a piece of timber I would have bothered with if it wasn't 'given' to me but I said I would make him something and so did.
 I decided to make him a 'bottle form' from it, and I must say despite the cracks it is quite an attractive piece of timber. I have hollowed it down to a thickness of around half an inch as there are many cracks and I didn't think it would take being any thinner without exploding on the lathe. The stopper is made from Oak, a small piece that was laying on the bench left over from another job. It is fifteen inches tall and finished by sanding with boiled linseed on the paper to try and fill the cracks and a hand buffed wax over that.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Round Bottom Bowls

 The two little Sycamore Bowls pictured below are the first pieces turned from a tree I cut into slabs about eighteen months ago. These were from a three inch thick slab and I was happy to find it was bone dry.
 They are both about four inches wide and around two and a half inches in height. The textured pattern is done by eye to give it a random look and they have a simple oil finish. The small slate base has also been textured to match the 'lined' pattern on the bowls.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Tear Drop Bottle

Here's something a bit different to my usual stuff, its obviously born from the shapes I was playing with in the 'Windblown Trio' posted below, I often find that a new idea is had while working on the previous one.
 This piece is made from Oak, that has been sand blast textured and coloured with acrylics. I have created a dull silver patina on the parts I wished to appear as metal. The 'metal' cage around the bottle frames the four 'eyes' that you get with endgrain Oak, two made by the grain and the other two at ninety degrees to them created by the rays.
 I have made the tear drop stopper what may in some peoples opinion be over size but I wanted this as it makes the whole piece appear 'bolder' than a smaller one would. I can imagine a bottle like this in the ancient world holding some precious oil or potion.
 I am really enjoying playing with the textures and effects that shot blasting can achieve.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Simple Bowl.

Sometimes I just need to turn something like this, a simple pleasing form, from nice timber with a good finish. I get a great deal of pleasure from things like this when I am in the mood and it is nice to remind myself that I can make these!
 Its just five inches wide by three inches tall and made from one of my last few pieces of English Elm from a large tree, the likes of which have all long since died from 'Dutch Elm Disease'.