Woodturning allows me a unique way to express creativity and craftsmanship.
I often start with “up-cycled” materials: trees removed from someone’s yard, wood intercepted on its way to the dump, pieces rescued from the firewood pile, or native trees removed for conservation efforts or fire prevention.
When using found wood as a medium, I rarely design a thing before I start making it. I start with an idea, but it is not until I cut into the wood and see what lies inside that I can start to work with what Mother Nature has provided. Sometimes I find beautiful figure, other times there are defects that need to be avoided (or even highlighted). Those discoveries often mean completely changing the form I thought I was creating. I enjoy responding to and working with nature in this way.
I sometimes explore ways to enhance and accent the wood using color, burning, fill material, etc. One unique technique I like uses high-voltage electricity to burn Lichtenberg Fractal patterns (lightening) into the wood. I call these “Tesla Bowls“.
I also make wooden Shot Barrels – a small oak whisky barrel, charred on the inside just like a real barrel. And yes, you can actually drink from them!
I am really enjoying making these goblets. The tallest ones in the picture are about 10″ tall.
When I cut into this piece of Mesquite, I discovered the former home of a colony of ants. Fortunately they had moved on long before I acquired the wood. I left the walls thick to retain the natural edges left by the former occupants. There was not much wood to work with on the bottom, … Continue reading Ant Colony Hollow form
These ash hollowforms were burned with a torch. The torch charred the early wood (large pores) before burning the late wood (more solid places). I then used red dye to color them.
A collection of utility bowls I have made recently. The largest ones are around 12″ diameter. There are various woods here: walnut, maple, pine, oak, birch, and an ash burl.
I was inspired by a clip from this video by Sam Angelo and made a nativity set for the family. I happened to have a bowl that I’d gone too thin on the bottom, so I could cut it to made the manger.
I did a demo for Rocky Mountain Woodturners in November, showing how to make a bunch of christmas tree ornaments. The club made a video. After that demo, I finished making all three rings, and cut out 172 trees, and strung twine on each one. I participated in a holiday art show the next … Continue reading Another Forest
I made a hot air balloon that floats! The balloon is a cottonwood hollowform, colored with dyes. The basket is black palm wood. The base is also colored cottonwood. The base supports a vertical pole, and the balloon has a tube running through its middle. The balloon just slides onto the pole. I … Continue reading Floating Hot Air Balloon
I’ve been enjoying making hollow forms recently. This is just a sampling of some of the recent ones. Beetle-Kill Pine: Maple, with a bit of spalting on the top: Aspen: Cottonwood: Another cottonwood form. I like how layering various colors of dye brings out the figure in cottonwood.
These are great examples of why I love to turn cottonwood. The figure is just fantasitc. The larger bowl is about 11″ diameter. This smaller one is about 4″.
I made a large (about 16″ diameter) walnut bowl as a wedding gift for my son.
The worms really had a field-day in this Maple tree. They bored lots of holes. I like the patterns they left in the wood. I think this bowl shows off both the beauty of the wood and gives a glimpse into the lives of creatures that lived in the tree. The bowl measures about … Continue reading Wormy Maple Bowl
I acquired a very nice piece of Maple. I was happy that the platter I turned was able to show off this beautiful wood. There is some beautiful quilting figure, a lighter band on one edge – I think this is from the sapwood, but it is really hard to tell. This tree must have … Continue reading Maple Platter