Friday, November 21, 2008

So does wood really talk to you??

I have heard the phrase "The wood Talks to Me" used by woodturners. The idea is that the wood tell the turner how to bring out the best or beauty of the wood he turning.
I have attended woodturning demostration where the demostrator said flat out that no one should turn a piece when think are letting the wood talk tell them what to do. The demonstrator says a good woodturner knows before hand what shape he intends on turning and often designs the piece before trying to turn it.
I agree with this, a turner should have a good idea of what shapes he intends to turn. The wood is not going tell you anything or will it. I have used the phrase some in teaching woodturning. So just what does it mean to me? I use the phrase meaning that I listen to the sounds my cutting tool makes, I pay attention to how the tool is feeling in my hands as I turn the wood. To me that is the wood talking with me. It lets me know if I am having a problem that could lead to disaster like breaking my turning or throwing it out of the chuck so I have to dodge it if I fast enough. It also tells me if I need to sharpen my tool. Hey I used this thechnique a lot as a tool and die maker and I was a very good tool and die maker if I do say myself.
I watch some inexperience turners showing how they turn wood and I would cringe at the sounds there were making as they turn the piece. In some cases I actually predicted the wood was going to fly of the lathe in pieces by just listening to the sound of the wood being cut.
This piece in the picture above may have actually talked with me in the sense it told me how to turn it. Then again maybe it didn't tell me a darn thing. I actually had a design that I was going to make. As I was turning the wood it became clear to me that my design was not going to work with this wood. It also became clear that I needed to turn it different from what I intented. Well I had intended on Fluting the sides similar but not the same as in the post I made earlier about making a fluted bowl. Now I not sure if the wood told me to turn it the way I did but maybe it did. I decided not to do any fluting but just turn a plain simple ordinary Bowl.
I did turn it thinner than usual as I am not a fan of real thin walls. It takes skill to turn thin but I not sure it always looks that good being exceptionally thin except in cases where you want a translucent wall. This one is turn with 1/8 inch walls. It is about10inches Dia. by 4 inches high .
Well you be the judge.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A sunflower

Every now and then I get excited about something that I turn. I also get impatient and photograph it before it is completed. This is one of them I still have more work to do to it before it is finish. Anway it sort of reminds me of a sunflower but I guess you need to use your imagination. The lacquer has not even dried yet in these photograph and once it is dry I still have to polish it.
I was actually working on another bowl that is bigger and could not photograph it yet. It is also in the state of drying from putting the finish on it. Well I thought I would turn something else while it was drying and did not want to start a big project. I had another piece of cherry wood that is left over after coring out another bowl. So I thought I would make something quick out of it while the other piece was drying. I wasn't so quick in making it as I did more to it than I intended to do. I glad I did change my mind and made this as I like it. Hope you like it also. the pictures are lousy so I hope you will over look them. I will photograph them again once I complete it as well as he other piece I am working on.