Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Blast from the past

I have a couple of videos for you today, both a bit of a blast from the past. The first is Robin Wood turning bowls on a pole lathe, the second is Stuart King turning flowers on a treadle lathe.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Empty Vessel

Many woodturners are drawn to making vessels. Many make simple bowls, some make more elaborate bowls, often with decoration added by methods other than turning. Some make hollow vessels with tiny necks, others make goblets or boxes. Inspiration has been drawn from many sources including ancient art, nature and contemporary art.

The Empty Vessel is a blog by Susan Lomuto Rose about "the container as art". There you will find many stunning contemporary vessels, some from names familiar to woodturners, others from artists from many other disciplines. A great source of inspiration for woodturners, and other artists, that I would highly recommend.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What's that tree?

Have you ever been offered some logs or a whole tree for turning, but don't know what it is? The website Discover Life might help. Although it covers all life forms, the tree guide is for woodturners.

To get started you do need a leaf, so be sure to get a sample or two, along with fruits and flowers if available. If no live samples are available check for dead ones under the canopy. Click the appropriate check boxes for leaf type, leaf shape, leaf veins, leaf edge, flower colour and seed colour, then press any of the search buttons.

A list of suggested species appears in the sidebar, and clicking on any of these will bring up a page of information about the species. This is culled from a number of sources, and the amount of information available is very variable.

This tree guide is also a good way of finding information about a species if you already know the name. Click on the Search link at the top of the page and enter either the common name or the scientific name in the search box. It will return all the information on the species from multiple sources. Some of these include Tree Canada, Canadian BioDiversity, Virginia Tech Tree Fact Sheets and the USDA Plants Database.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

How important are handcrafted items in your life ?

How important are handcrafted items in your life? This is the question that will be addressed on the Maritime Noon phone-in, tomorrow, Friday, July 13th.

In a world that's awash in mass-produced products, certain individuals still devote themselves to making things that are unique. Artisans around the Maritimes create everyday items like coffee mugs & breadboards, accessories like earrings & shawls, and fanciful objects that blend various media and defy description.

Maritime Noon is the lunch time radio show of CBC serving Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. It can be listened to live from the links on the Maritime Noon homepage, and will be archived for one week from their Phone In page. The phone in starts after the one o'clock news (Atlantic Standard Time).

I will be listening. It will be interesting to learn what my potential customers have to say.

update: (Due to special coverage of the Lord Black trial, this show was shortened to about 30 minutes and started at 1:30 or thereabouts)

ITE 2007

The International Turning Exchange is underway at the Woodturning Center, and resident Lynne Yamaguchi is blogging the activities there. The ITE has been underway for a month now, but I only just found this blog which is a shame. There is a lot to catch upon.

I sometime use masking tape in my shop to hold things on the lathe, but the example shown in this post seems a little extreme to me, but it's certainly quicker to set up than a donut chuck, so I might give it a try. It is a rather small bowl though, so that might account for the success.

The most encouraging post is the one showing the works in the homes of three collectors. It's good to know that someone out there collects woodturning.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

AAW Symposium 2007

Blogger Alan Irwin has been covering the 2007 American Association of Woodturner's Symposium in Portland, OR. So far he has covered day 1 and day 2.

The AAW have also published a lot from the symposium, the best in my opinion being the catalog from the invitational exhibition, Japanese Bowls: a western perspective, and Turning Green - An International Juried Exhibition of Woodturning.