Prairie Skies I

This was an ugly looking offcut of boxelder that I knew had some real potential, and now that it’s finished, I can’t pick my favorite side. The wood came from the North Dakota farmstead established by my grandparents, Anton and Petrea Jacobsen.

5 inches x 5 inches. Homemade friction polish finish (50/50 shellac and boiled linseed oil blend).

Figured green ash sphere

This is my first attempt at sphere turning. The basic concept is simple: Turn a rough sphere between centers, then rotate it 90 degrees and turn off the high spots, then rotate it 90 degrees again and turn off the high spots. But it does take a bit of finesse to make sure you get it properly centered each time.

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I’m pretty happy with this one; the way the figuring in this green ash shifts in the light is fascinating.

3 1/2″ diameter, friction polish finish.

Silver maple bowls

Silver maple bowls

I just finished a couple of silver maple bowls that I had roughed out back in July. The first one had the beginnings of some spalting, and when you hold it up to the light, you can see that there’s a bit of curl.

Bowl #166 (8)

11 1/2″ diameter, 3″ high. Walnut oil finish.

The curl in the second one is more pronounced. I gave this one a little foot to lift it off the tabletop just a bit.

Bowl #167 (11)

12″ diameter, 3″ high. Walnut oil finish.

Here’s a peek at the curl. I’m always tickled when I find some of that in one of the pieces I turn. It’s like unwrapping a present.

Bowl #167 (7)

Silver maple shimmer

Another silver maple bowl that has a beautiful chatoyance. It’s not the ripple that you see in curly maple, but it’s striking. I’m doing a little experiment with this one: it’s finished with walnut oil, which takes a little longer to cure but is completely food-safe. (Note: pretty much every finish is “food safe” once it’s fully cured, but walnut oil starts out food safe, since it is food. But it also has the advantage of being able to cure to a solid finish without going rancid.)

UPDATE: This bowl is available on Etsy.

10 1/8″ diameter, 2 1/4″ high.

Bowl 113 (6)

Interior shot of that figure.

Bowl 113 (1)

This, my friends, is curl

A friend gave me a couple of maple logs, and I’ve been roughing out bowls from it. I uncovered this ripple–which is called curl–in the bowl I was working on this morning.

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Keep in mind that this is rough turned, and still rather wet. I have to let it dry (slowly, to prevent checking), then finish turning it, sand it (probably to 1000 grit, because figure like this deserves that), and apply a finish..