Sunday, April 24, 2016

Ann's a little off-center and we love it!

We had an intimate gathering of woodworkers for our April meeting - with some new faces joining us, which is always a treat! 

After our usual introductions and some business chit-chat, we settled into out show and tell, which featured Beth Wheeler's spoons, these were both turned on the lathe AND hand carved. She also brought one of the stools that we worked on from last month's meeting, finished and looking gorgeous. 

Mike Shore shared some of his turned pieces, explaining that he's been away from the lathe for a while with some health issues, but that it's great to be back working with wood. 

 Heather Worthen brought this terrific wood burned slab, and bragged a bit about her hubby Billy - whose Lego Tie is going to be featured in a Legoland commercial.

She also shared that their work - a 3-D butterfly puzzle received a nice mention in Scrollsaw Woodworking and Crafts Magazine.  Congrats to both of them for building a terrific presence in the world of wood! 

Even from Arizona, John Eugster managed to share some of his latest work - this intricate frame that he not only built, carved AND applied the gold leaf. All we had was a picture of it, but it sure was gorgeous. It's one of the last of six frames that are headed to a show in South Carolina, featuring his wife Diane's paintings. We wish them both a ton of luck!

  And finally - our guest presenter and one of our original members - Ann Casey.  Ann has dabbled in a lot of various art forms  - from marquetry and furniture making to marble carving, but it's safe to say she's found her sweet spot in turning wood. She's been at it for a few years - after taking her first serious lesson in late 2011.  Ann has dabbled with faceplate work -  bowls and platters, to spindle work.  

She constantly challenges herself with new and difficult methods and techniques, and for our meeting - she bravely attempted off center turning, which - when done on both sides of a lid, produces a lovely lace-like effect. 

Armed with her tools and a variety of experiments, she explained that the choice of wood - 

its dryness, weight and density all play a part in the success of this undertaking. 

Here is partially turned lid - you can see the on center cuts on the bottom, and the off center cut on the top. 

Accuracy in finding the center, and marking the off-center distance for re-chucking the lathe are important for success.

Because the wood is spinning off center, she explained that the weight is critical - too heavy a piece and the lathe can vibrate right across the floor.

 Her long handled Mike Jackofsky gouge gets braces tightly against her body, to steady the tool against all the vibration.

 She uses both a skew chisel and a parting tool to round over each groove that she's cut into the lid. Finding the optimum death for each groove is painstaking work, and going just a bit too deep can destroy the lid. Here's she's working on the top of the top, but later will re-mount the lid to work on the underside. 

 This isn't for the faint of heart - there are so many things that can go wrong when turning off center, and cutting wood away from both sides of the lid is an even more harrowing undertaking. She brought in these Sand-its, which help a great deal when getting into tight spots. 

And as she got closer to finishing the lid....


Oh well! We learned a great deal about her process and got a glimpse into her creative journey. A wise man once said - Each an every effort has value in the end. Even in disappointment, the worth and beauty are often found within the dance of doing. 

Our group's success is due to members like Ann, who give freely of their time and expertise, sharing their successes and the lessons they learn along the way. We certainly enjoyed Ann's efforts! 


And last but not least - a special thanks to Lupe for everything photo related - taking our photos, making and editing videos, and uploading everything to Dropbox - her efforts are SO appreciated!

Enjoy this video!

1 comment:

  1. for some reason that reminded me a bit of Mark Sfirri's multi-axis turnings