Wood turned items – decorative and functional
The wood I use is collected from various sources. Much of the wood used is collected from “downed” trees here in Vermont. A small amount of more exotic non-native wood is purchased. And still more is reclaimed from local wood product plants.
Most pieces are roughed out from their original state using a chain saw. They are then shaped further using a band saw. I turn my wooden pieces on a PowerMatic 3520 wood lathe. This machine allows for turned pieces anywhere from 36 inches long to 20 inches in diameter. I use wood gouges to create the different types of pieces from plates, platters, bowls, boxes, tops, drop spindles, nostepindes, wrist distaffs, shawl pins, bracelets, and/or vases.
The piece of wood often dictates the ultimate shape. Inclusions in the wood call for necessary responses in my turning. Some shapes are reminiscent of pottery shapes that I like. I like the pots of the southwest, especially the seed pot design. I grew up in the same town as the Roycroft, and as a result I look to Arts and Crafts inspirations as well. All designs are my own. No patterns are used. As a result, no two items are exactly the same.
I have researched wood turned products that can connect with our fiber production from our Angora goats. I now produce drop spindles, wrist distaffs, nostepindes, shawl pins and more to complement this production.
Process for turning a bowl (example)
- The wood is gathered and roughed out with a chain saw.
- Further rounded with a band saw
- Mounted and turned on a lathe.
- Some bowls are partially turned and then dried over a period of several months by placing them in a box with wood shavings. The final turning completes the bowl. The resulting bowl will maintain a very round shape.
- Other bowls are turned completely while green, then dried over time. The shape of the bowl will shift and change as the bowl dries. The resulting shape is often more oval than round.
- The bowl is the sanded on the lathe with 60-80 grit sandpaper. I move to finer and finer grits, ultimately ending with 600 grit sand paper.
- The final step is finishing. I hand rub each bowl with a mixture of mineral oil and beeswax. This mixture is food safe. It provides a low satin patina to the bowl versus a highly glossed finish.
Wood turned items featuring tools for fiber artists as well as functional and decorative turnings for the home.