005 — Busy Start to 2017 in the Workshop

Plater in Apple

My goodness what a busy and productive few weeks It’s been! I hope you all had a good Christmas. Thank you to all of you who bought something from me, either for yourselves or as gifts for others. I hope they were well received and will bring smiles and be conversation starters for years to come!

As well as supporting my growth as a craftsman, you are also giving me hope that it’s something worth pursuing, which is beyond value*. (* while I accept major credit cards, hope alone, is not currently accepted as payment for furniture commissions).

The plate above was Christmas present to a close relative. It’s made of apple and was a challenging piece to work with. As a rough lump it had a few nasty cracks which seemed to run deep. I had bought it from another turner who had discarded it as ‘un-turnable’. It turned out well though and my perseverance was rewarded with some beautifully figured grain patterns. Apple is now on my list of desirable woods, so if you’re having a tree down let me know!

That’s got to be the most satisfyingly thing about the craft, to be able to see a need and fill it.
“Friendly” Rocket designs

The other big project I’ve been working on is a flowerbed for a local school. It’s got hand carved decoration, designed by the kids, on each face. I had originally planned to carve the features using a router, but in the end I decided it would be more efficient to do it by hand with a gouge.

Using the gouge has been very satisfying, using a simple tool to create such organic shapes. It’s also quiet and safe! No mask or ear defenders here, just the radio if I want it, and my thoughts.

On the wood…
On paper…

I’ve also fixed a chair for someone last week and made a couple of door stops on the lathe. We needed one at the office, and I thought, I can just make one, so I did. That’s got to be the most satisfyingly thing about the craft, to be able to see a need and fill it. Because if you have the skills, you should use them.

A pair of door stops, fresh off the lathe
The finished beech door stop