Tuesday, April 1, 2008

From the Lathe

OK, I promised that the very next turning picture I published would be of Shawn Power's bowl.

Promise kept.

Here it is. Now, see, before you start making that funny face let me give you a little background. Shawn specified a few things. First, no sissy stuff, he wanted a man's bowl. He wanted something hefty enough to crush a foot if dropped. He wanted something from the Big Lake/Miller's Reach fire, something with "lot's of character," in fact the more "character" the better. Something weird, irregular, and different - you know, like Linux.

We aim to please here at Stonekettle Station (we also aim at missionaries, insurance salesmen, and politicians who trespass on station property, just saying).

This was an ever lovin' bitch to turn. The wood was extremely wet, and the irregular shape and the birds eyes gave me no end of grief. However, I am quite happy with how it came out in the end.

As usual, the full gallery is here.

This bowl was made from a tree harvested near Big Lake, Alaska. The tree was actually two smaller 'suckers' that had grown together into one large trunk. The tree was badly burned in the infamous Miller's Reach/Big Lake fire but managed to survive for some years afterward and the sapwood grew around the fire damage. The rim of this bowl has a large divot, lined by charred wood. The walls are turned thicker than I usually do, to give the bowl some heft. There are two large 'birds eyes' on either side of the bowl (a total of four), reflecting the origin of the final tree trunk. There is some natural edging along one side of the rim and the sides have been sculpted and slightly filigreed to emphasize the birds eyes and heartwood grain. Finished in Danish Oil and a hard glossy acrylic.

So anyway, Shawn if you think this is what you had in mind - email me and we'll work out the details. Otherwise I'll start over, sigh.


  1. Show off. I have a total of 6 in production now. Two finished, one that cracked all to shit and a large lided box. And No I am not taking any time off work. Randy and Laura are in VA and I am watching the house so... I got pretty fired up.

    AND yes pictures are coming.

  2. Coolness. I, unfortunately, am not turning this week. I'm up to my eyeballs in production work. It's going well, it's just boring. I must have pulled the drill press quill 2000 times today. Tomorrow, bandsaw cutting. Whee.

    Got to get this done so I can go back to turning.

  3. Now that's a manly bowl.

    "I winged the revenuer last week," said Boy Hogwallop

    "Now there's a good boy," said Delmar. "Is your Daddy home?"

  4. Steve, I believe that's spelled "revenooer."

    And if Shawn doesn't want it, I'll buy it.

    Because it's the first of the month, and I haven't spent any money this month on turned woodwork!

  5. My personal favorite for shooting at unwelcome guests is Secondhand Lions with the great Robert Duvall and even greater Michael Caine.

    Walter: Why not see what he's sellin'?
    Hub: What the hell for?
    Walter: Well what's the good of having all that money if you're never gonna spend it?
    Garth: Could be the kid has a point.
    Hub: Well. We'll see what the man's sellin'. THEN we'll shoot him.
    Garth: Good plan.

    And Shawn has already emailed me about the bowl, Janiece. Tough beans. However I do have two fairly spectacular pieces currently available.


  6. I love 55!!!

    I am so bad. I wish that I could afford it right now. I am awaiting a piece from Shawn. Mine is one that shattered. The waiting is the hardest part. I do love the last piece that I got from you! I want, want, I want...want to make 55 my b day pressie? ;-)

  7. *wanders in drinking a hazelnut coffee smoothie*

    Pretty. :)

    *wanders back out before the shooting starts*

  8. hazelnut coffee smoothie

    You, my friend, are on veeeeery thin ice. Gah!

  9. Well, Becca, I don't feel too bad getting shut out be Shawn :) Bastard.

    Uh, one thing, my wife reads this blog upon occasion and I'm not sure how she'll take I do love the last piece that I got from you!

    Just sayin' is all. ;)

  10. Jim, the new bowl is lovely! You do great work. Is it still fun to do those -- or has it become a little bit of a production obligation?

    I'm planning to be up there the week of 4/14 (and again sometime in mid May, and etc ad nauseum) so if you have anything ready I can bring my checkbook. #58 is lovely but I'm a bit worried about trying to transport such a good-sized piece.

  11. Jeri, we'll have to get together for coffee or something.

    #58 is pretty robust and I don't think you'd have trouble with it in carry on. Otherwise I can ship it for you.

  12. I (heart) #58, but the husband would surely notice if a new package from Alaska arrived. Husbands can be smart that way...

  13. Just to rub it in... my average time on the lathe this week is 3 hours/night following an 8 hr+ work day, and the occasional meal if I get inspired enough to eat. I have reached a new level on the square bowls by turning one where the corners are as deep as the bowl is. Picture a bowl with four feet. ow my knuckles....

  14. Holy shit, Beastly, I didn't think your lathe could handle a four foot blank....

    ba da bump bump. Yuck yuck.

  15. depends on the husband :)

    Heh. Mine will be oblivious to lots of stuff and just when I think I'll get away with something, he'll notice. It's annoying. However, I expect that if he didn't notice the arrival of the package, I could get away with it.



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