It all begins with a chainsaw. A section is cut from a log of local wood. Vashon has many trees which come down because of storms, disease, or construction. I have a ready supply of Maple, Alder, and my current favorite, Madrone. I also enjoy fruit woods and some nut woods. The section of log is split in half with the grain to form a blank. I must decide if I am going orient the bark side at the top or bottom of my piece. The blank is then trimmed into a dome-like shape and mounted on the lathe. I often use an electric chainsaw to form the dome. The outside of the piece is turned close to its final shape and surface. This shaping is one of the most creative parts of the process. Now the piece is turned 180 degrees and attached to the lathe with a clamp called a chuck. Hollowing out a bowl or vessel is done by removing enough wood to make the walls a uniform thickness and the inside surface fair. I have made hollowing tools for removing wood from vessels with small openings at the top.

Photos from the WORKSHOP

Once the piece has been turned, it is dried, sanded, and finished. Since I often turn green wood, curing is a critical step that requires various techniques depending on the wood species. Sanding can be done while the turning is green and still on the lathe, or after it has dried. There are many options for finish depending on the desired effect. The design process may continue before finishing, with decisions about painting, carving, texturing, or burning. Cracks may be filled or accentuated. Texture or carving can excite a plain wood or surface. Sanding and oiling will highlight beautiful wood and figure. There are several variations on this process depending on the wood used or the type of turning being created.

Photos from the WORKSHOP