Friday, December 21, 2007

Gone for a While

Guys, I've got to go to Anchorage this morning, so I will be gone for most of the morning (my morning, early afternoon for most of you in the lower 48).

In the mean time, you may oooh and ahhh over these. I finished both of these yesterday, on schedule and just in time for two clients who need them for Christmas.

The first is similar to one I posted last week. A turned birch heartwood bowl, decorated with a the silhouette of an Alaskan musher and his team. The bowl is sculpted to invoke the feeling of a raging snowstorm. The finish is a clear acrylic, textured so that the bowl appears to be coated in ice (this effect is a lot more apparent in person than it appears in the photo).

This second bowl is called a hollow form. I don't do many of these, because they are extremely difficult to turn from green wood. The turning itself is not difficult, but green wood tends to deform as it dries, in the example above this deformation adds to the bowl's overall character. In the hollow form below, the deformation will detract from the piece's appearance. This shape must remain perfectly round, and it has to be dried slowly or else the bowl will split and crack. Like I said, I don't do many of these, but this particular piece was commissioned and so I made it to the requirements requested by the client. This one took about three weeks, a day to turn, and the rest of the time to dry. This piece is finished in a hard satin acrylic so as to resist scratches, as it will be used to store keys and change and various pocket litter (the client wants it as a 'necessary' bowl near the door), it's about 16 inches in diameter.

Gotta go, back in a couple of hours.


  1. Yeah, you suck Jim. You do the manly lathe work, you cook with ingredients that don't require a can opener, you live in a place so cold your dog needs boots...

    I stand near a river, and slip almost to my death. My dress shoes smell like fish, and not because of any manly fishing expedition. My "power tools" usually have USB connectors, and if I'm without WiFi for more than a few hours, I start to get the twitches.

    All I've got going for me is silliness. And, I guess, that will have to suffice. Today, I'm wearing one bright purple sock, and one bright green sock. Just because I can.

  2. Shawn, there's more than one way to skin a cat, and more than one way to be manly. Around here, your "geek factor" is directly proportional to how manly you are. I'm just sayin'.

    And Jim, I'm turning all covetous again...I know, I know...pipe down.


  3. Dang, in that case, I'm a veritable stud. Stand back ladies, while I flex my clicking finger.

    And no, that wasn't a sexual innuendo, you sickos.

  4. Being more or less in the same boat as Shawn, I have a deep admiration for anyone who can make/do things with their hands.

    (No, not those kinds of things :p)

  5. Well I can do things with my hands (yes, those things (whatever they are)) and I still covet Jim's bowls. Ok, even that sounds kinky now. You guys are contagious! ;)

    Fear not, Shawn. We enjoy watching you on video (you are smart, cute, and funny -- what a trifecta!) while Jim... well, I hear certain videos are sought, but not for their watchability.
    (Nathan, just pushing your agenda in your absence. You're welcome.)

  6. Anne, Thanks. I had to go out and do "Life Stuff" for a while. I'd hate to think there wasn't a totally annoying amount of video requests.

    Jim, re: the bowls.

    Ooooh. Ahhhhh. Really.

    Me? Can't use a lathe. I can use a nail gun and still end up with bent nails that only penetrate 1/2 way. Can't code. Have zero photoshop skills.

    I don't get to sit at the lunch table with any of you guys.


  7. Envy, yep, that's what I was going for.

    Really, I'm much less impressive a manly guy in person - the internet adds a foot, or so I'm told. And I'm as much a geek as the rest of you.

    Two things: I'm good with the whole purple/green sock thing. Really. And remember, geeks rule the world nowadays, nothing funnier than when a football player tries to use a computer.

    And Nathan, if your nail gun only drives the nails halfway and leaves them bent, you've got the air pressure too high, or you're using softwood nails in hardwood.

  8. nothing funnier than when a football player tries to use a computer.

    Or attempting to slog through a salt marsh (so I'm told). I had a prof in grad school that once had a bunch of football players signed up to help him do some field work. It turned out that they were just not balanced right for walking on marsh mud, which is basically like quicksand, except it's mud, and it'll suck your shoes off while you're trying to pull out of it.

    They spent all their time falling through and struggling to get back up, for each and every step. Eventually the prof had to fill out paperwork deeming all of them physically unfit.

  9. Ha!!! Think you know everything, don't you. My nails do not bend without penetrating the wood because of air pressure or softwoods. They don't penetrate because I was a cheap moron with only one project in sight for the nail gun, so I bought a POS electric nail gun. It won't nail a sheet of paper to a block of balsa wood. Ha!! Shows how much you know.

  10. Nathan, well see you left a couple of details out and I had to improvise.

    Maybe your electric pressure isn't high enough? I've heard that's an issue in New York... :o

  11. MWT, I have this mental image of a bunch of big beefy guys in full pads slogging through the marsh, screaming and getting sucked down into the mud... Hahahahaha. Thanks dude.

  12. Thanks to Janiece for introducing me to UrbanDictionary.

    Thanks to MWT for making me use it.

    :D (New one for me TT)

  13. Ah, fabulous mental goodness ...

    Jocks being deemed "physically unfit" by an enviro-geek ...


  14. Shiny!

    I can't do anything that requires upper body strength, but I know how to help put up drywall (obviously I can't lift a sheet myself) and I wired most of the outlets in our computer room. I know how to do plumbing--I just don't have the strength to tighten and loosen bolts.

    Does that knowledge count even when lacking ability?

  15. Michelle, knowledge always counts. Brains have gotten me out of many bad situations, when brawn couldn't.

  16. That's reassuring, because I really am seriously lacking in the brawn department.

    Which is why it's a good thing I'm very fast at running away. :)


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