Winged bowls

One of the forms that I have been exploring this year is winged bowls and in particular I've been exploring winged bowls where the wings coming down to act legs and suspend the bowl. I'm not sure what sparked my interest but some of it may to do with having come into possession of a number of pieces of wood that lent themselves well to that particular form. The first one I tried was this one made from a piece of Japanese snowball wood. I found that the legs moved a bit as the bowl dried but I was able to bend them back to where I wanted them by steam bending them in the microwave. On these next two bowls I experimented with the orientation to see if I could show more of the crotch grain in the wood. Both of these next two bowls are made from plum wood. On the first one I orientated it so that the bottom came from the outside of the tree. It worked well but lost feathering from the crotch figure in the grain. On this next bowl I reversed the orientation so that the bottom of the bowl came from the inside of the log. This resulted in a great display of the crotch grain feathering but I wound up with the wings being too short to work as legs. I tried steam bending them into place but on this piece it didn't work. Still kind of an interesting piece though. Another attempt was with a piece of magnolia wood given to me by a neighbor.  It had a crack in it that I was hoping to be able to turn away or at least keep tight with the application of some glue but it didn't work out that way. Being turned from green wood it changed shape as it dried and the crack became much larger. I have a few ideas for making it a decorative feature but haven't entirely decided which to go with yet. The options I am considering include: leaving it as is, decorative stitching with leather or copper wire or using some kind of resin to fill the crack. The most recent one is a winged bowl made from butternut wood. The wood came from a tree that my parents had cut down in their yard and then sent me a couple of pieces.  At first I was thinking that it was too large to do a winged bowl with but I decided to try it anyway.  The piece did not lend itself to making a suspended bowl so I decided to go with a more traditional winged bowl design for it. It was much lighter than I expected and did not change shape much in spite of having been turned to finish from green wood. I think this is because the tree was cut near the end of winter before the sap started to flow. I also noticed that when I had it on the lathe it was not very out of balance to start which would be explained by the low moisture content. Although I have some pieces now that I really like I still feel that I have not yet put all of the elements that I would like in one of these bowls together. I'm getting closer but I'm going to have to play with the design a bit more I think. What I would like to try next is a winged bowl where the wings come down to support and suspend the bowl and oriented to show the feathering of the crotch grain.  

Summer Markets 2015

The first of my summer markets is less than a week away so I am a little behind in getting my schedule up. This summer I will be at the North Shore Green Markets Friday night market on a regular basis. The dates that I have booked are:
  • May 1, 15 & 29
  • June 5 &19
  • July 3, 17 & 31
  • August 14 & 28
  • September 11 & 25
I now have a number of nights booked with Saturday Summer Sessions for their Saturday night concerts and artisan markets running Saturday nights in North Vancouver's Shipbuilder's square. The dates that I have booked with them are:
  • July 4 & 18
  • August 1, 15, 22 & 29
The August 22 market is on the same day as Slide the City so it should be and eventful day. I now have some of my work in the Green Market Store located Across for Lonsdale Quay. This is a coop store that carries products made by many of the same vendors who attend the North Shore Green Markets Friday night market.

Wood turned Christmas ornaments

Wood turned Christmas ornaments are always a great item to make as the holiday season approaches. They sell well at craft fairs and any left over make great gifts for friends and family. Two types of turned Christmas ornaments that I have been making for a while now are ball ornaments and bell ornaments. This year I added ring turned ornaments as a third kind of turned Christmas ornament. The ball ornaments that I made this year were all made from apple wood. This was mostly just because I had it available and I like the wood. These ornaments are made in three pieces with the ball being hollowed out and then finials attached to the top and bottom. In the past I have sometimes been a bit hit and miss on the finials but this year I seemed to have it dialed in from the start and I think that they are some of my best looking finials to date. I had a special request from a family member for red ornaments in this style so I made a couple with the balls stained red and then the finials left natural. Apparently I have given them a few ornaments over the years and red was the one colour still missing. The next style of turned Christmas ornament that I made was done using a ring turning. For these a ring of wood was turned on the lathe with specific profiles on the inside and outside of the ring. The ring then gets cut into slices to make the ornaments. I found turning the profile on the inside of the ring to be a bit tricky and it took me a few attempts to get one that would work. Once I had all of the slices cut out it looked like a small forest has sprouted on the table of my bandsaw. After that the slices were cleaned up a bit and then dyed green. And finally a topcoat of finish was added and they were strung up. The final type of turned Christmas ornaments that I made this year were the bell ornaments. I have made these before and they are always a favourite. They are fun to make and people always like them. Basically I just use small sections of branch and shape and hollow them into a bell shape leaving a thin strip of bark at the edge. When I add the string I tie a small jingle bell to the inside so that they always have a little sound to them. A couple of times during this past Christmas season I ran out and had to make some some more.  

Christmas Markets

It is nearing the end of September as I write this and the last of the summer markets just ended which means that now it is time to start preparing for the Christmas markets. This year I have committed to more shows than in past years as well as getting into more established shows so it is looking to be a very busy season.
  • November 2 - St.Thomas Aquinas Christmas Craft Fair - this is a juried show has been running for over 25 years. It is a very well established show that always draws quality vendors and a large crowd of shoppers.
  • November 14, 15, 16 - Shipyards Christmas Market - the North Shore Green Markets is building on the success of their Friday Night Markets in Shipbuilders square to run a Christmas market in the same location. There will be a skating rink in the square, vendors set up in the building behind the stage, food trucks and more attractions. This is running every weekend from mid-November up until Christmas and I have booked quite a few dates.
  • November 21, 22, 23 - West Coast Christmas Show - this is a large show put on annually in Abbotsford that features a mix of different vendors as well as presentations from local chefs. Amongst the many exhibits visitors will find holiday gifts from around the world, jewelry & accessories, toys, specialty foods, condiments, seasonings, candy/sweets along with unique and hard to find gift items both from artisans as well as unique manufacturers.
  • November 28 - Shipyards Christmas Market
  • November 29, 30 - North Van Holiday Bazaar - taking over from the very successful Delbrook Christmas market that ran for many years. This show being run at Carson Graham high school on the same dates and will feature many of the same vendors that used to go to the Delbrook market.
  • December 5, 6, 7 - Shipyards Christmas Market
  • December 12, 13, 14 - Shipyards Christmas Market
  • December 19, 20, 21 - Shipyards Christmas Market
Shipyard Christmas Market 001

Video showing the Making of a Natural Edge Wedding Goblet

A couple of years ago now a shot some video of a natural edge wedding goblet that I was making. Unfortunately when I went to edit it I found that my computer at the time was simply unable to manage the files and there was really too much video to post it without being edited so it sat for a while. Now that I have a new computer I came across the video files and thought I would see what I could do with it. As this is my first real attempt at editing video it is a little rough but here it is: The Making of a Natural edge Wedding goblet!!! Hope you enjoy it!