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The Humble Grumble

Jean Turner, RPT

   ...the sporadic annoyances & humble mumblings of a Jeannius.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Flower

Flower1 The 'bowl' is field maple. One day Andrea asked me if I was interested in some field maple. I jumped at the chance, and brought home some beautiful 6 inch diameter logs that she had kindly bagged on each end for me. Andrea came with me as she had never turned wet wood before, and her chuck jaws were not big enough to hold a log securely. So we came home to my house to use my chuck with it's gripper jaws.

Flower13 We turned a little bowl, and the day after she had been, I set to making some more little bowls. It had been a while since I turned any really nice wet wood, and so I challenged myself to see how fast I could turn a small bowl to a finish, including sanding and waxing.

This particular one took 10 minutes. Eight to start with, but then I re-cut the outside and re-sanded in order to get an ultra-smooth finish both inside and out. Flower15 I was pleased with it, gave it a quick coat of wax to keep it protected long enough to be able to dry out slowly so it wouldn't crack, and brought a number of them that I had turned inside the house to sit quite close to the (hot) wood burning stove to season.

Flower8 About a week later, I was really irritated with myself - I had nothing to keep my hands busy, had just finished one beading project, it was too cold to go into the workshop and stand on the cold concrete floor, and I was pretty desperate. Looking around, my eyes happened upon the little bowls drying on the table. I picked one at random, grabbed my 0.5mm drill and made a series of little holes all around the edge, trying to be more or less consistent in their distance form the edge and apart. Flower3 Somewhere in the region of the 167th hole, the wood ran out, so I footled around in my box of bead tubes and chose two lots of three colours that I felt went with each other and called down The Boss for his opinion.

Flower4 One of the original tubes remained on the try, and the other 5 went back in the box. Two others came out and Himself humphed in approval and walked back up the stairs, leaving me with some beads, a bowl with loads of little holes in it, and absolutely no idea what I was going to do with it.

Flower5 I started to add beads along the edge, trying to count how many there would be in a row. On the third attempt, I gave up counting, divided the work into five by eye, and started making the petals. 30 hours later, my flower base was done.

Flower10 By this time, the wood had more or less dried out, and wrinkled somewhat on the bottom, in line with an annular ring, making it look as though the turning is bad. Ah well, tough cookies, as they say, but the flower needed an inside. So I set it aside while I thought about it.

Flower2 Another friend had in the meantime lent me a book in which it describes the principles of turning a sphere off-centre for the purposes of carving on the lathe (3-D sculpting), so I thought a jig through, and proceeded to make one, not dreaming that the flower and it would be connected in any way. During playtime one day, I cut and turned a little field maple burr sphere, hollowed it out, and then taped it into my eccentric sphere-turning jig. The intention was to make a flower centre which had petal bases turned upon it - to which I could sew additional layers of petals for my flower.

Flower12 The centre ball turned out so nicely as it was that I changed my mind (a girl's prerogative) and simply filled the centre of the little hollow form 'centre' with some beaded and wired stamens.

Flower11 I am happy with it, and that is all that really matters.