Hey, it’s Friday, have some artwork.
This my latest piece, an Alaska Birch heartwood bowl, Aurora #108.
The wood comes from here in south central Alaska. Harvested last year and allowed to dry outside for several months. Blanks were then cut cross-grain per my usual technique, and the bowl was then green turned to finish. Once completed, the bowl sat in the drying cabinet until it reached about 8% moisture content – this took about two months. The shape of the dried bowl changed very little from the original green turned piece.
Once dry, the bowl was then sculpted using a variety of techniques and buffed to a polished finish.
Then I tried a new technique I’ve been working on.
I won’t tell you how I did it, but the carved filigree was filled in with crushed semi-precious stone and copper flake suspended in a clear matrix. Because the filigree goes all the way through the bowl walls, the jewel-like inlays are lit from within and change color with the light and viewing angle. In the bottom pictures the inlay appears white due to overexposure (because I took the pictures with my small Pentax pocket camera rather than the big Sony professional model). But in the close-up you can see the jewel-like inlay in more detail.
The idea here is to invoke images of Alaska, the birch forests, the Aurora Borealis, and the gold, silver, and copper hidden in the earth and rivers.
This piece was an interesting project.
This is the first time I’ve pulled all of the things that I do together into one piece, including green turning, carving and sculpting, polishing, and finally the inlay technique. It will serve a model for a whole series of similar pieces.
I’m pretty happy with how it came out.