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 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
We needed some small items to donate to a fundraiser holiday craft sale. So I made a bunch of trees. I ended up making two sets, and ended up with around 90 little trees (about 2″ tall).
I burned Lichtenberg patterns in table legs for a local restaurant. Early-summer 2017 I heard about someone who had hurt herself doing this. Just the way I heard about it, from several different people within a couple of days, I decided I would volunteer to help. She was on the third table (of about 20 … Continue reading Tesla Tables
This bowl is about 6.5″ x 1.75″ and is a great example of the red “flame” staining that can occur in Box Elder. There are several ideas about what causes the flame stain – maybe a fungus, maybe a bug, or maybe just some physical stress that the tree endured. In any case, it is … Continue reading Flame Box Elder Bowl
Here are several platters made from Ambrosia Maple and decorated with Lichenberg patterns around the rim. Ambrosia Maple is not a species, but rather a regular Maple that has been infested with an Ambrosia Beetle. The beetle stains the wood and leaves little holes where it bored thru the wood. 12″ x 1.5″- $80 … Continue reading Ambrosia Maple Tesla Platters