Well it is almost the end of 2013, where the time has gone I just do not know, I am sure the older we get the faster time travels.
The Bazaar at Bull Mill Arts was a great success for all and I will hopefully be attending next year.
2013 has been a great year, the collaboration in Ireland, the AWGB seminar and the finishing of my first book which will be out in March, lots of other work being produced and designed some of which even made it to reality.
It always seem to be that I do not get time to produce as many new works as I would like, but this is one of the negatives of turning for a living as the bread and butter has to come before the exploration. It is however satisfying that my previous explorations have now started to become my bread and butter so to speak so it is an important part of what I do in the background.
My work is my passion so I never get those 'Monday morning blues', in fact I have to be careful on weekends to lock the workshop as I would quite happily turn every day of the week.
The digital art is still being developed, as with the picture above, I am determined to move it further forward next year, while it has served me well this year I have not achieved all I wanted, but then if I did that there would be nothing left to do. I have been experimenting with other software for the development of form and ideas which as produced excellent results, more about this later on.
More articles and possibly another book in 2014, lots of demonstrations booked, tuition and work to be made for galleries so there is a lot to do.
One of the best parts of woodturning is that I get to meet great people, many that have become good friends.
So to all that read my blog, thank you for your interest, I hope you and your family have a relaxing festive season and a healthy and prosperous new year.
From the 9th to the 19th of December Bull Mill Arts at Crockerton, nr, Warminster, Wiltshire, are having their Christmas Bazaar. You can view and purchase unique art, craft, sculpture and many other inspirational items from the makers that are part of Bull Mill or by those invited to exhibit. For details se the flyer above or visit Bull Mill web site. Great work by inspirational makers, well worth a visit.
This time of year is manic in the workshop, not only do the galleries need filling before Christmas, a lot of roughing out has to be completed in preparation for the following year to keep stocks flowing.
Above are some 100 bowl, hollow form, vase and box blanks, all sealed and waiting to be roughed out which will be done over the next week to make place for several more hundred blanks and so on.
Also I have been continuing to take pictures for interest and reference as well as computer generated fractal designs shown below.
The sculptures that I have been developing are coming along albeit slow as I have so much other work to get through at the moment with this being the busiest year to date.
The cold weather is making me look forward to a trip to Spain in March of next year to demonstrate, more about this nearer the time.
This time of year I always find very inspiring, the changing of lush greens to deep browns and reds of leaves, the rotting vegetation and quickly changing scenes across in the landscape are particularly inspiring for my work.
The picture above is of a leaf from an Acer japonica in my gardenm, probably if not my favourite tree, although the ornamental cherry comes a close second.
The piece here was made to replace a similar previous piece shown for a gallery showcase at The Grey Door Gallery, Castle Cary as the first piece which was intended for the showcase was purchased and now resides in Hong Kong so I had to get my skates onto make another, the one that now has new home is shown below.
Contact with the Grey Door Gallery was by chance when my work was recommended to them by a customer of mine. The gallery is located in the ancient town of Castle Cary that records first list as far back as the Norman Invasion. The quality of work on display, including ceramics, glass and paintings which is of a high standard which was evident to me when I went along initially to show some of my work to the owner and I was very pleased to have mine accepted.
The showcase last until the end of October at which time I have been asked to submit more work for the run up to the Christmas season.
To say it is manic at the moment is an understatement, the buzz that this brings is enjoyable, but I am conscious that highs are often shorter lived than lows, not that there is a differential between the two as they are both a state of mind.
This aside, it is important for me to keep working, creatively, as at the moment as I am producing a lot of, what I call bread and butter work for outlets to sell for the Christmas season. It is always a good time of year,'must make hay while the sun shines'.
So to keep my mind engaged I keep developing my computer generated art, which has received some commercial interest of late and is ticking over nicely.
The picture here is a continuation of 'Orchid' being developed in the background.
Little did I know when I started turning that I would pursue the craft for a living, let alone write a book on my passion of turning hollow forms.
To say I am filled with pride is an understatement, not only because of the achievement of having a book in print, but also of the content.
Central to my ethos in working and indeed in writing this book, is a desire to keep it simple and practical. My intention in the book, which can be preordered from the links below, is to take the reader/turner through the whole process from tree/log to finished form, including;
Workshop set up and lathes.
Hollowing tools, how to choose and use them.
What to look for in a section of trunk or branch wood.
How to process for best results.
How to orientate for cross grain, end grain, seasoned and unseasoned forms.
Form and design as a guide for further investigation.
How to season successfully, using simple low cost methods.
A practical working section on wood technology, stripping away all but what is needed by the turner for success in hollow form turning.
7 progressive projects taking the reader through the various disciplines from an open end grain vessel to an unseasoned thin walled hollow form with small opening.
The result I am very proud of and am confident it will be a great addition for anyone wishing to start out in turning hollow forms. Why ?, well all of the information in the book is what I use on a daily basis, so I know it is tried and tested to be simple and effective.
Here is the previous sculpture now finished. It stands 300mm high and is finished with acrylic car spray on a sycamore base also sprayed.
The name 'Eatherios' comes from the word ethereal and is linked with the Greek myths of the swan. The Greeks saw the Swan as a heavenly being, of a different world, which is also reflected in other cultures in relation to the swan.
Hopefully I will be able to develop these further, once I can get back into the workshop.
This is the second of the sculpture that I have been working on. It is partly finished and is shown here on a waste slab of sycamore that I use to drive a nail into so the form can be fixed for spraying.
Working on these new pieces is an enjoyable process and at the moment I can not see myself returning to pure work as I am enjoying myself here too much, but then I define the word 'fickle', but I may change my mind tomorrow. !!
Designing more sculptures has been on going and I have many to work with in the future. However before I start too many I am going to look at developing these into much larger forms. The previous sculpture I am able to turn on my lathe up to 1m long, however this latest one is about as large as I can produce on the lathe due to the size of blank needed, unless I go out board. Turning this form to produce the external profile is the fastest method but if I go to a much larger section of wood the process starts to become dangerous so I will probably revert to cutting this one out on the bandsaw. Yes it could be one on the lathe but with large pieces of wood you only have to have one accident and it can be the end. It is not for me about producing solely on the lathe but the producing of a final piece. At times the lathe can help others it can restrict so seeing it a nothing other than a tool.
Future sculptures being designed are more involved and will be produce using many turned joined sections. But when that will be I am not sure as these first two are a good eight months late.
The AWGB live auction is now online for all to view here with my submission., shown above from my 'Impermanence' series. It is named 'Noble Truth' after the buddhist philosophy of impermanence that inspired it's making.
The takings from the auction goes to the AWGB fund for the onward support their members development fund, which educates/supports and trains people in the craft of woodturning within the UK, such as the youth training scheme and others.
The Auction is held on the 9th of August. and hopefully will raise a nice sum for the organisation to continue its good work.
Just got back from Hazelbury timber supplies today who have just had 1 x artic lorry load of Yew, 1 arctic of sycamore, 1 arctic load of Ash, delivered, plus loads of other woods in stock.
Loads of boards, cut to size as you wait. At their prices it is madness not to seek them out when you are down this way. Used by furniture makers, sculptures and turners to name a few from all over the country due to their keen price and availability of timber ad service.
My blog has been neglected for twitter as there I can not write so much :-) so tweeting is a much more efficient process.
The sculptures that I mentioned some time ago were in danger of not making it to reality until next year as work is so hectic, with so many deadlines and orders that for the first time I do not know where to turn or what to do first.
Yes I have the usual ' jobs to do' list with priorities, but then the phone goes or I get more emails. This is something that while I am feeling the strain of lately I am happy to have it this way around as opposed to not having any work, it just means blogs etc have to take a back seat.
The final pictures from the collaboration I will get around to posting I promise :-), but here I wanted to post one of the first of the sculptures that I have designed, and which I mentioned some six months ago.
This one is a marquette to test tooling and processes in the solid as opposed to in my head. Mostly it has progressed with few unforeseen problems and I am pleased with the result.
This sculpture is the most simple of the designs and I decided to start with this one as it takes awhile for me to get my mind into working differently than when turning in the round. Having said that, this form is also shaped/carved and then finished, so the lathe again is used only as a part process to give the flowing lines and curves for me to work from.
The finish is simply acrylic white spray as currently with this series I am interested in form with the exclusion of any distraction from grain or wood colour.
The piece itself is oval and stands approx 300mm high including the plinth. The main sculpture I am aiming for around a meter high, but that will bring into the equations different issues with relation to weight and the amount of free air I am cutting on the lathe and may require a different approach.
Crown Tools have launched their 'Mini Revolution' Hollowing/end grain turning tool. It is designed to be a low cost end grain hollowing tool for those that would like to enter into hollowing without the expense often associated with larger tools.
The 'Mini Revolution' comes supplied with 1 x 'Super Ring' Cutter, 1 x scraping cutter ideal for cross grain hollowing or as a refining scraper.
the tool can be used to produce end grain open/enclosed forms to a depth of 4-5 inches as well small hollow forms through a small opening with steep undercut.
For only £43 GDP with free P&P within the UK for a limited time direct from my website here it is a great addition if you already have a large hollowing tool and want a stand alone tool for smaller work, or are just embarking on the craft of hollowing.
For more information you can go here or contact via here
The days remaining were buzzing, all working together to get the wall finished. It is amazing how the time flies when you are having fun, how much can be completed when people work together; it was however becoming evident that time was not a premium, and with a decision to lengthen the wall due to the size of gallery space in which it going to be house meant the working days started to lengthen.
The shaping, texturing and colouring of the main stones continued.
Emmet Kane scorching
Jacques Vesery, colouring one of the many objects for inclusion within the wall.
The carving of Master Xiang Dong Wang taking shape.
Once the wall sections had been built, eventually four in total, they were outside where John Lee sandblasted the stones to produce a consistent texture/ageing of the carved pieces so there was a smooth transition throughout the length of the wall.
While Emmet Kane watched on.
Soon the amount of work that needed to be completed meant the wall team decided to stay into the early hours of the morning (0100) hrs, to finish sand blasting so that the final colouring stages could be completed the final day.
To keep the sandblaster filled the sand was collected, sieved and recycled.
John Lee sandblasting the sections.
Throughout the entire event Roger Bennett was tasked as the scribe for the event. Roger worked tirelessly around, among and with us to detail in both writing and recording the event, as well as interviewing each artists and member of the group in order to obtain and record all our thoughts and experiences through the week. There is certainly a lot that goes on within a collaboration other than people making shavings to make it as positive an event as possible.
Eventually the wall neared completion, final lichen and other colour accents added as well as the smaller items people had been making as found objects being first fixed to find the best locations for final setting in the gallery.
A small selection of the carved stones and objects added.
The Following day, Thursday the wall was complete and loaded into the vans for transporting to 'Visual' Gallery.
On arriving at the gallery it the wall was assembled with the found objects being added, a lighting hologram and finishing touches before the opening the next day.
Then it was back for a rest and to tidy up the workshops at Glenn's
Part 4 'The Showcase' coming soon, views of the gallery, wall a other exhibits.
All intellectual property, pictures,text and designs within this blog remain the property of Mark Sanger unless stated and may not be used without permission. Any infringement will be persued vigorously.