Monday, August 30, 2010

Pictures from Center for Maine Craft demo

I promised that I would post pictures here from my demo at the Center for Maine Craft on August 7th.  I had a good time demo at the Center.  It was a perfect day with the temps just about perfect for an outside demo.  Thanks goes out to the Center for Maine Craft for having me and to Dennis Curtis from Dennis Curtis Woodturning for helping with the set-up and take down.  I demonstrated making bottle stoppers and you will be able to see a couple on the lathe in the pictures. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Where the designs come from

You can be one of the first people to see my four new color combination's all pictured together.  I also had the opportunity to turn them in my four most popular shapes.  I get asked all the time how did you come up with the designs for your mills and grinders.  Well, I will tell you the story behind each design and try not to put you to sleep while I do it. 

My most popular design is the Morrison Style (all of my designs are named after important people from some part of my life) and the design for it came from the Victorian era.  I don't know why but as I progressed through a series of shapes it just reminded me of a picture that I saw of a woman dancing at a ball.  From the head to the tapered waist to the ruffles at the bottom of the gown.  On the mills instead of ruffles I put beads or rings which help tell the mills apart on the table or counter.  One bead for salt and three beads for pepper. 

The Rybec Style is just a classic shape that came to me when I was playing chess one day.  It is my version of a rook done in an hour glass shape.

The Strout Style is based off from a mannequin.  My older sister was away at nursing school and I went to visit her for a weekend.  I think I was 5 at the time.  She was working part time at a clothing store for nurses and for some reason that shape stuck with me and makes for a pretty cool shape for mills.

The Haynes Style originally started out as a cross between the Morrison and Strout Styles but I just wasn't happy with the overall shape.  So I kept playing with the shape until one winter day I was outside breaking the icicles and ice off from the eves of my house and I realized that a droplet of water would be a great shape.  So if you turn the mill upside down you will see my version of a water droplet.  Complete from the moment when the droplet is about to break free and becomes very elongated (everything below the head) to the moment when the droplet has just broken free (the actual head).

There is one more style, not pictured here, that I don't make very often and it's called the Dailey Style.  The explanation for that however is going to have to wait for another time when I have a picture of it to show you.  

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Grinding week

It's been one of those weeks where it seems that everything has been a grind.  Well it's been mills and grinders all week so that's probably why it feels that way.  I did manage to finish up one hollow vessel this week.  I really like the way that it came out.  There was almost as much open space as there was wood.  I would say that better than one third of the vessel was open air.  But take a look for yourself and the picture can not begin to show all of the natural voids in this vessel.  The vessel was turned out of Oak Burl and finished with a spray on lacquer.  It's about 6.5 inches high by 8 inches in diameter.  Normally I scrape and sand the inside just like I do the outside.  However in this case the tool marks combined with the burl figure made it look like the walls of the Grand Canyon to me.  So I left the tool marks as is.  Artistic license I guess.  I have another long week of mills and grinders coming up this week and than I'm off to Baltimore for my last wholesale show of the year.  When I get home I will be here just long enough to see my two girls off to their first days of school and than I'm off to my first retail show of the year in Bar Harbor, Maine.  It's a new show for both the promoters and for myself so let's hope for a good turn out.  I'll have more about that in another post. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Woodturning Demo

In case anyone is in the W. Gardiner, Maine area on August 7th I will be doing a  woodturning demo at the Center for Maine Craft. It is located in the W. Gardiner rest area which is accessible from Routes 95, 295 & 126. I will be demoing outside from 10am to 1pm.  If you have any questions you can call the center at 207-588-0021.  I will also have some of the things that I make with me for everyone to see.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Herbie Ornament

3 piece Herbie Ornament
Herbie has been such a large part of what I have done this year that I guess it's only right that the first two posts here are about Herbie.  I was asked to design an ornament made out of the Herbie wood.  So this is what I came up with for them.  This is a 3 piece ornament that I hollowed out the center globe to lighten the overall ornament.  The dimensions of the ornament are about 2 inches by 7 inches and that includes the twisted wire on the top.  The ornament weighs less than one ounce total.  The cross on the top is made from twisting together jewelers wire and there is another piece at the very top (that you can't see) to go over the bough of the tree.  This is going to be a limited edition with only 100 ornaments being made.  If anyone is interested in an ornament they can be bought from the Town of Yarmouth Community Services.  They are taking orders for them now with delivery starting in October.  The cost will be $75 each and they can be ordered by calling 207-846-2406.  Just ask them for a Dailey Ornament.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Herbie and my weekend at the Yarmouth Clam Festival

I spent the weekend of July 17th & 18th demonstrating at the Yarmouth Clam Festival in Yarmouth, Maine. The festival was celebrating both Herbie, the oldest Elm tree in New England, and Frank Knight. Frank is the 101 year old man who used to be the caretaker of Herbie. I was asked to go down and turn a few hours each day using some of the wood that I have from Herbie. For those that don't know Herbie was 217 years old and was afflicted by Dutch Elm disease and was taken down on January 17th, 2010. I have been asked to make products for the town to resell. I have been making bowls, pens & bottle stoppers out of the wood from Herbie. It turned out to be a great weekend weather wise. I was also interviewed for articles in two different newspapers. I've included links to both articles so that you can read them if you would like to. I also was asked to be on the WMTW-TV channel 8 Sunday Morning show. Cam interviewed me while I was turning a bottle stopper. I've been interviewed before and I've been on tv before but it was the first time that I was turning live on tv. Unfortunately there isn't a link to the interview so I guess you will just have to trust me when I say it really did happen. Here is the link to the interview in the Maine Sunday Telegram and here is the link to the interview in The Forecaster. If you would like to learn more about the Herbie project you can find more info on my webpage devoted to the Herbie Project. I had a lot of fun at the festival and met a lot of people. I would gladly go to the festival if for no other reason than to get another strawberry shortcake. The thing was big enough to make a meal out of all by itself. A big thank you to Nick Waugh for taking the photos that I have used here.