Maybe you've come here from the Youtube video on making this platter. If so, thanks for clicking through! As I said in the video, I wasn't very pleased with the transition from the inner rim to the bowl - the uneven depth of the cuts was one reason; the change from coloured to plain wood was also a bit of bugbear.
So...it was time to try out a few ideas. This is why I like to leave the turning recess on my platter bottoms, so that I can easily put them back on the lathe and change things! An angled inner edge was put on the rim which helped to soften the transition, but it still wasn't right. So out came the rotary tool and ball cutter again. Then stains....I think the red looks best as it gives a lift to the whole platter, but the black helps to disguise the uneven depths of the red slots. I've left the platter to consider the final idea - at the moment, I'm considering texturing just along the outer edge of the inner rim which will be coloured black, then blending into a smooth area which will be bright red to add some lift to the effect. When I'll get this done is a different story!
Well, two months between blog posts appears to be my standard now! What happens to all the time I think I have? While I may not have written a blog post for a while, I've still been getting some turning done, and been trying out some new techniques...with varying degrees of success. Since the start of the year, I've made eight new YouTube videos, and I'm working on another one as I type this - more of that later.
The big news is that I passed 1000 subscribers to my YouTube channel, which feels great. There's a giveaway connected to this that ends on Sunday 25th February. If you want a chance to win, the link is here: 1K Giveaway!
At the moment, the winner will receive this when I've finished it... If you've been following my videos, you'll know this texturing and colouring came about after a disastrous attempt to paint a finish with brushes - clearly showing my artistic talents need a lot of nurturing.
It was power tools I turned to when my paint brush skills proved wanting, and it's power tools I've been relying on this weekend for my latest platter. I've been interested in doing some piercing on hollow forms for a while but my Simon Hope hollowing tool is still in its packet in a drawer waiting to be used. So I decided to pierce a platter rim instead. Piercing itself didn't take too long, but the sanding afterwards took ages. I hand-sanded so much that my phone doesn't recognise my thumb print anymore!
There's still work to do as so far it's only been sprayed black. I'm going to add some iridescent paint to bring some life and sparkle to it (I hope!).
Finally, I'm turning my mind to the demos I'll be doing this year. The first one is in April in Yorkshire - only two month's away, and judging by the speed two months pass, that will come round very quickly. If you have any ideas for how to make watching paint dry, let me know!
Happy turning...even if your workshop ends up as messy as mine...
Time flies - probably rather faster than I can manage to make shavings, judging by the length of time between this and the previous blog post! It's been so long, I've forgotten what I've done in the interim. I do know that today I spent a huge amount of time fiddling around with a green screen set up in my workshop. Was it worth it? Maybe not, but it was fun! And it was frustrating too...I mucked about with lights and software settings for ages and still didn't get a perfect result. However, it was just about good enough to use in my latest video - Metallic Effect Ash Bowl. I'd love to know what you think of it. This was the first time I'd used Martin Saban-Smith's Intrinsic Colours, water-based stains. I enjoyed using them and the end result was really pleasing.
I've also made a few festive tealight holders - great for table centrepieces. Similar to the ash bowl above, these were coloured with stains and metallic paints. It was fun to do something a bit smaller than my usual twelve inch platters, but I can't wait to try out some of the techniques on wide platter rims.
I also had a go at mixing up the colouring in textured pieces by using strongly contrasting colours in the textured part of a platter rim next to the surface of the rim. This came out much better than it looked like it was going to at one point! However, that's not an unusual experience with the colouring experiments I've tried - just keep going until you get what you like, as you can always sand it off and start again (the blue tealight holder is the third version!).
And the year is ending on a high with a mention in the latest Chestnut Products newsletter - with a link to my website, no less - and a set of Intrinisic Colours to try out from Martin Saban-Smith.
When I started this website in April of this year, it was mainly to support the first time I'd put my work up for sale in one of the Artist Open Houses in Brighton in May. I'm ending the year with 30+ YouTube videos (and subscribers are going up - over 700 now!), I've done a couple of club demos, and have three more lined up for next year, and I've got a notebook with a load of ideas I haven't even tried yet.
I've just signed up to Artists Open Houses for the new year - if you're a venue looking for turned wood art this May or next Christmas, please get in touch!
Have a great end to the year.
Well, October has flown by....here we are at the end of British Summer Time, fireworks are going off sporadically in the area I live, and in a couple of days' time we'll have to take cover from the trick or treating marauders...
Today, I got time in my workshop and I decided to have a go at using blutack as a masking agent with spirit stains. I also decided to use the time to see what difference was made by using sanding sealer before applying the stains. The instructions say to use the stains on unsealed wood. For my experiment I sealed one half of the blank only. There were definitely some differences in the finish, as pictures will show later.
If you've been a fan of some of the woodturning channels on YouTube, you'll have seen the craze for sending stickers to promote your own site/channel/business. I decided it was time for me to join the club after I went to Yandles for their September show and I bumped into Jim from Jimson's stuff and Nick from NZWoodturning. It was great to meet some YouTubers in the flesh and both of them had stickers to give out. I mentioned them in my Orange Splodge and Splatter video.
It's September...school is back in session....the summer is over....and I managed about half a day in the shed the whole summer holiday! Still, today made up for this lack of turning time as I was asked to do a colouring and texturing demo at West Sussex Woodturners. So, today I probably spent as much time in front of a lathe as I did for the whole six week summer break.
The lack of activity also means that there is no new video to post - I hope to sort that out soon, but I might be tempted into the three hour drive to Yandles next Saturday for their autumn show...
I have also been asked to do a demo next summer - woodturning events secretaries have to plan ahead. No doubt I'll blog about this nearer the time.
Today's demo covered a range of different colouring techniques - I'll let the pictures talk for themselves - and the second part of the demo covered some texturing techniques with the Proxxon mini angle-grinder. I finished by colouring two rims completely which I'll finish at home and take to the next club meeting.
It was a really enjoyable morning, and has certainly whetted my appetite for doing more demonstrations. So if you are an events secretary for a club, please keep me in mind!
I finished off one of the partially completed pieces from my last demo in July at South Downs Woodturners. It's had a car lacquer applied over the spirit stains and acrylic paint. One of the members of South Downs has organised some gallery space in a Shoreham gallery for club members to display work for sale. I'll be putting this piece in, along with a couple of others, in the hope that someone will like them enough to buy them.
I've got some ideas for the next video, another texturing and colouring one. Terry, if you're reading this, it might well feature the pink I mixed up today...watch out on my channel.
Have fun turning!
I've had my first go at demonstrating - and I survived the experience! I've turned in front of people before, but never as the main attraction, so I was rather nervous when I found myself standing in front of about fifty people at my club meeting at the start of July. I'd been asked to demonstrate some of the texturing and colouring work I've been playing around with since February this year. It was borrowing the club's Proxxon long-neck grinder that got me started in this area, so I suppose it was fair to pay this back in some way.
Well, it's Sunday evening...one week left until I'm putting my latest bowls and platters up for sale. I got four more finished today, so I have 14 ready for sale, once I've given them a wax and a buff, which shouldn't take long (he says hopefully...). I might get another couple or so done during the week.
These four have been around for a while, just waiting for the centre to be cored out. The textured blue one is probably my favourite of the four from today, though it came out darker than I intended.
Two of them have videos you can see either on my website or on my Youtube channel. I'll be doing videos of the other two in the near future. But now my thoughts are having to turn to my first demo on Thursday this week. Some of you know I'm a teacher, so standing in front of a group of people shouldn't be too daunting, but the prospect of that group being woodturners rather than 15 year olds, makes it a bit different. We'll see how it goes!
I do occasionally get to bore my students with my woodturning tales. They sometimes ask me what I do with the turnings. Well, now I'm selling them, but before May this year they just got piled on top of the piano...which coincidentally is where the majority of my sale stock for next week is.
It's been good fun, mostly, getting these new ones done, but I'm not sure it's something I'd enjoy doing for my day job - I don't know if it would still have the same fun or enjoyment attached to it, along with the pressure of having to make sales to pay the mortgage. So it will continue as something I do alongside my day job. That's not to say I wouldn't enjoy doing it day after day when (if) retirement comes along....but that's a long way off still!
Wish me luck for the demo on Thursday!
It's texture time again! This week, although output has been rather low, I've been working on a couple of new platters for the show at Parham House in July. I'll need to go into production mode this weekend though to make sure I've got enough work to display. The Proxxon long-neck grinder has been out of its box and I've used it for a couple of different texturing effects. I know some people prefer the smooth, sanded, machined surface of a platter rim...but some prefer a bit of texture too, as I found out at my Open House in May. So I was determined to make sure I had some textured pieces to offer. One of the platters has been finished, though I haven't quite decided its name yet - it's currently called Hot Red Etched Rim.......hmmmm, does sound a bit like a painful medical condition.
Today will be an all-day shed day! I need to produce new stock for a show in July as the Open House in May was so much more successful than I imagined. I have three bowls left so will need to be productive today. I'm looking forward to doing another show - a rather different set-up this one as it's at a Garden Weekend at Parham House...and my work will be with two other woodturners' work who produce great turnings. I don't think either of them do much colouring work, so hopefully this will make my work different to theirs.