The slow reveal

I’ve always been a ‘measure once, cut twice’ kind of guy.

Actually, you’d be lucky to catch me measuring at all. I guess that’s why recently I’ve felt drawn to carving and woodturning.

There’s something deeply satisfying about starting with a whole part of a tree. You get a sense of its mass, its form, where the grain lies. Texture is important. Also colour.

This piece came from a branch that fell into our back yard and broke our fence. Free wood is the best wood.

Stripping off the bark and getting the thing centred is tough. The log spins at upwards of 1,000 rpm and until it’s balanced, the whole machine shakes. By the time the log’s clean my pockets are filled with sawdust and chips.

I got two bowls out of this log. Slowly cutting away the mass until the shape was right. One thing I love about turning is that it’s all pretty much all by eye. You just keep cutting ’til it looks right and feels right.

I won’t lie, I’m pretty slow at this still. And I make mistakes. But isn’t that what it’s all about?

The slow reveal. The smell of sawdust. Muttered swearing and a pocketfull of tree shavings. This one’s for Sarah’s birthday.

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