woodbowlsandthings

February 16, 2017

To Brand or not to Brand

Filed under: Art, Wood Lathe — Tags: , , , , , , , — peteblair @ 7:49 pm

I wonder how many other artists have wondered if a ‘brand’ might be a good idea? I know there are a lot of Artists whose work can easily be identified but for artists like myself this is a real long-shot!
I really like to identify my art with my name and a number. The number primarily for me to keep track of where my art winds up and to be able to keep a data base of information.
The problem for me was that on occasion I make smaller things to sell and often don’t have the inclination or space to actually sign them.
For about the last 2 years I have been adding a ‘brand’ it is a stylized icon combining my first and last initials. P and B. i have been burning my ‘brand’ with a pyrography pen which is a real pain if I am ‘branding’ 20 or 30 items at a time!
Here is a shot of the ‘brand’ I just bought on line. I was able to purchase just the branding end as I already have a Weller soldering iron I wanted to use.
I am now using on all my art work. I still sign my better pieces, and add the brand, but for craft type items I can now brand a bunch in a very short time.

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June 28, 2014

Re-cobbled

The continuing saga of my path to discover an ‘easy’ way to sand the inside of hollow forms.
If you read the previous post and are following along then here is the next edition.

I previously purchased a rock tumbler at a garage sale this is a much faster turning devise than either of the BBQ motors I was trying earlier.

With the increase in speed I can in two days get the same revolutions I was getting in 2 weeks. I do realize that at some point if it spins too fast the glass will just cling to the outer walls and not tumble or grind the inside of the hollow form as I intend to.

The rock tumbler uses a 1725 rpm motor connected to a 1.5″ dia pulley which is then connected with a vee belt to a 9″ pulley. Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong but by my calculations this devise now spins my hollow forms at  287.5 RPM. I wondered if it might be too fast but I can hear the glass and marbles (yes I have included marbles this time around) sliding and grinding as it spins. I am certainly not a machinest and the part that is in between my chuck and the shaft of the pillow block is not a tight fit and as a result the chuck ‘wobbles’ a little which i believe may add to it’s ability to sand.

Here’s a shot of my ‘re-cobbled’ devise.

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I tip it slightly toward the bottom and alternately the top in an attempt to get the glass and the marbles working more on the ends where the torn grain is. I try to tip it about about 2″ and run about half time with it tipped each way.

Here is a comparison shot of one piece before sanding and after about 300,000 rotations.

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And a closeup of the one on the right.

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I think you can see quite an improvement as far as sanding and removal of ridges goes but as you can see it hasn’t cleaned up the torn end grain.

If I was to do a finished Hollow form I would spend a little more time with my tools to try to minimize the torn grain prior to using my sanding devise.

Please feel free to email me if you have any comments or questions.

May 26, 2014

More of Molly’s Influence

I continue to enjoy making miniature and smaller size hollow forms adorned with some of the pyrography techniques which I learned in a all day workshop with Molly Winton. This series includes Orca Whales.

Thinking about Molly’s influence I am not too sure how she feels about the work I am producing in her shadow. Sometimes I wonder if the artist(s) whom influence my work would really rather I didn’t mention their names or if they might be embarrassed by my attempts to incorporate some of the details which they use. At any rate, until I learn differently, I shall continue to list those whom have influenced my techniques and design features in the pieces I show here.

I have apparently started a series, not planned but because there are some similarities I will also post a series on this blog.

of  related Blogs.

This piece is the first in the Orca Series. It includes a four ‘lip’ opening influenced by Molly(she does a 3 point) as well as the sort of basket weave that she uses on the lower part of the piece.

On this piece I used a small round “writing point’ burning point to detail at the dark parts of the Orcas. I then stained the maple around them. This left the whiter parts of the Orcas the natural maple color although not as white as they are in nature.

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I have completed a few others in this series but will post them individually.

My work can all be seen on my Web Site woodbowlsandthings.com

Please feel free to comment or send me a note if you wish to discuss my work or would like any more details.

May 25, 2014

Darn Raven

Here is another piece of Yellow Cedar “Darn Raven”. The Raven is stealing the sun, again? I have included Cat Tails and Geese.
I now will refer to the influence as from the art of the indigenous people of the Pacific North West. This piece is also influenced by Douglas Fisher who turns ‘world quality’ pieces using similar techniques. Most of his pieces include an off centre and off access turning, both of which I included in this piece. Having said that his work is in another class all together!

I have used pyrography and wood dye to add the details.  This piece is about 11 3/4 ” diameter and 3/4″ thick. It was finished with several coats of rattle can lacquer.

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I find Yellow cedar quite difficult to work with, it is somewhat soft and as such is susceptible to scratches and nicks while it is being detailed. All work as far as the tuning goes was with the usual wood turning tools but I plan to try to do some detailing with a router to see how that will work.

My work can also be seen at

woodbowlsandthings.com

April 28, 2014

Molly Winton’s Influence

Filed under: Art, Wood Lathe — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — peteblair @ 2:30 pm

I have become enamoured with turning miniature hollow vessels after the full day Workshop I took with Molly Winton, see earlier post. These very light, small turnings are textured with a burning pen similarly to how Molly does hers. I would be flattered if her influence can be seen in my work I just adore what she does.

I am not totally pleased with this piece but I do believe it is a good beginning. I plan to incorporate a more West Coast theme in my future work.

These are turned from green Cherry, about 2″ tall and 2″ wide with my rendition of Peace Doves flying around the top.

To view more of my work please visit my website woodbowlsandthings.com.

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April 27, 2014

Latest Haida work

I continue to turn lots of things on my lathe and like to share them here.

Lately I have been experimenting with Haida Motifs and am really pleased with the way they have been turning out.

Here’s a few shots of a 12″ square Yellow Cedar Plate/Platter I first turned then burned and finally added some colour.

As you can see these are pictures taken in my workshop at various stages.

The first is the platter with a turned bead, prepared for embellishment.

The second is the beginning of the pyrography.

The third is with colour added to the Honeysuckle.

The final is the finished product.

Many items are available for sale on my web site Woodbowlsandthing.com.

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April 6, 2014

West Coast Haida Art

I’ve always admired the skill and color of Haida art. Below you will find a few pieces that I have made in an attempt to honour this art form.

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March 16, 2014

MOLLY WINTON – WORKSHOP

Friday last was the day I had been looking forward to for a couple of months. My date with Molly!
Well I was not to be disappointed.
After the 1 1/2 hour drive including having my GPS take me to the wrong address I finally wound up at Bow River Woods. I never did find any sort of sign the establishment but those in the know seem to be able to find it with little directions.
There were 10 attendees in all.
Molly started off, after introducing herself, by asking each of us why we were there and what we hoped to gain from the experience. From there she tried to accommodate all interests. She started by turing a miniature hollow form. Molly turns most of her miniature pieces in spindle orientation and really likes to turn green. This is the type of work she is most known for. Her communication and lathe skill are really good although I believe the small hollow form really didn’t let us get too good a look at all her abilities. Through out the turning she would stop and talk about tools, good design and what works especially for her.

She didn’t have a good torch but described the process of making hollowing tools from Allen wrenches, which she used to hollow the miniature form.

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Once the hollow form was complete we moved back to our tables and were coached in burning techniques and preparation of tools. Then were given some time to practice. From there we were shown her method of making the ‘brands’ she uses to embellish her work. Including a ‘basket weave’ brand and a ‘spiral’ brand. She had both for sale but suggested that we should probably save money by just making them ourselves.

She briefly discussed the tricks she has developed in making her own buying hand pieces, pretty cool. I will certainly try to make a few myself. Just cause I’m cheap!
Molly spirit and easy manner made the whole experience most satisfying, it was almost as if it was just a bunch of long time friends getting together to share experiences.
Molly then demonstrated how she carves the tops of some of her forms to make here signature three cornered top. This was pretty cool and she completed it in the wink of an eye.

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She followed that up with tips regarding a whole lot of specialized finishing and colouring techniques which I found most interesting.

I had taken a strange burning tool I had bought at a garage sale, manufactured in Columbia, which had about 100 brands, Molly as well as other attendees found very interesting,  toward the end, Molly offered to trade one of her miniatures for several of the brands which surprisingly fit in her burning hand pieces. I was most happy to bring one of her signed pieces home.

All in all it was a great day!

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