I’m looking forward to demonstrating at the Woodturning New Zealand International Symposium 29 September to 2 October 2016. There are some amazing turners who will be there, so check out the site linked on the poster. And why not come along?
New Zealand looks like a beautiful location to visit. I will definitely be bringing my camera along on this trip as it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.
The Show Must Go On! is a box that was created for the American Association of Woodturners Annual Symposium and for the Professional Outreach Program auction.
This box, titled “The Show Must Go On!” was made specially for an invitation I received to submit a piece for the American Association of Woodturner’s annual exhibition and Professional Outreach Program auction. The theme for this year’s auction is “Patterns” and so I decided to pursue a design that has been going around in my head for a few years. I have used the exterior of this box as a canvas for the creation of geometric shapes. Although the patterns seem to be static, they take on different forms depending on how the top of the box is placed on the bottom. The shape of the tray is also triangular when seen separately from the box, as it lies on its side, mimicking the triangles on the exterior as well as the small diamond shaped finial on the tray pull. The body of the piece is made in cherry wood, which I have textured and painted with gesso. The rings are in African blackwood and the interior is lined with polished cocobolo.
This box will be displayed along with all the other wonderful works at the AAW Gallery of Wood Art in St. Paul, Minnesota, from March 6-May 23 2016. There will be a simultaneous live and online auction which is scheduled for June 11th.
This is a grouping of one of my most popular boxes, which I call Teardrop. It was originally conceived about 35 years ago and I continue to make them to this day. The simple, clean lines and delicate curves of this box, with the tapered point make it surprisingly quite challenging to turn. It is a box that I have frequently demonstrated making, at symposiums and workshops, so if you have been to any of those, this box will be familiar to you. I was surprised to see that it had never been shared on here and I can’t believe that I overlooked it.
The box is made from African blackwood and is approximately 2.25″-3″ in diameter by 3.25-4.25″ high.
This box is over 10 years old now and shows the very organic texturing along the sides that I was developing at that time. The top and underside was highly polished and it sat in a raised ring with its surface lightly engraved. The round, ball feet are in tulipwood (Dalbergia decipularis). Many people are surprised when they see that name. It is a tree from a very small area of Brazil and is not to be confused with American Tulipwood.
It's intriguing to think where it is now.
African blackwood, turned, carved and textured, Tulipwood, turned. Approximately 3.3" diameter, 6" high.
This 'Golfer's Dream' box is a progression from the piece 'Teed Off' that I posted last week. It can be interesting to see how ideas can develop. This box can be lifted out of its base, which is a contrast of organically textured and carved sides with a highly polished top. The box itself is crowned with carved petals that hold the textured cap and 'tee' with its vegetable ivory 'golf ball'.
African blackwood, turned, carved and textured, tagua nut, turned. Size approximately 3 1/2" square and approximately 6.5" high. Sold
When I am thinking of making boxes I try to avoid taking design elements for granted. For example a box doesn't need to have a flat bottom, nor does it necessarily have to sit upright. This is a box, with the golfer's 'tee' shape acting as a pull for the 'lid',. The stem of the flower is hollow. This piece was made in approximately 2002 and is approximately 6" long with a diameter of the petals of approximately 3". It is made from African blackwood and is turned, carved and textured .
The design of this piece can be traced back to one of my earliest turned boxes. That piece took its inspiration from my close connection to traditional furniture that I worked closely with in my restoration work. We still own the original box, made all those 30+ years ago in brown oak though the form has evolved since then to be more generous in its curves.
I still make this box from time to time, larger than the original and now made from thuya burl. This burl grows on the root system of the trees and originates in Morocco. It has a distinctive cedar smell, which remains through the years so that when the lid is opened, a smell reminiscent of pencil sharpenings is still present.
This box was originally conceived in about 1992 and at the time was unnamed. It is made in African Blackwood, with tagua nut 'pearls'. The interior of the box has some smaller loose pearls, which seem to be waiting to be born. In order to do so, they have to pass up through the tube you see (one is on the way, as is evident from the bulge). It appears through the top and then is pushed out by the one following behind. You can see the older pearls in the tray at the base, with one waiting to fall from the top.
And yes, my imagination scares me sometimes! The box was finally given a name by the late Bruce leDain, a well known Montreal artist.
I am getting ready to go to St. Hyacinth, Quebec for a 1 day box making demo this weekend and was looking through older images of my boxes and thought I would share this one with you all.
Around this time last year I was photographing performances at the Deep Roots Music Festival in Wolfville. As I came out of a concert one night, there was a football game in progress at the Acadia University grounds that bordered the Festival Theatre. The lights lit up the field for the players, but beside it was a building which was belching steam into the night air. The setting sun cast a beautiful glow behind the scene of bright lights and the tall chimney.