When I was 7 years old, my grandfather (who btw, already turned wood still without electricity, on lathes he made from pedal operated sewing machines!) introduced me to the art of wood turning, which fascinated me right away. However the lack of a lathe didn't let me actively pursue it. And when we moved to Canada not long after, my grandfather and his workshop were out of reach to me. Only the two pieces I made at that time decorated my bookshelves for many years.
It was not until grade 7, when in 'industrial art' class I had a
chance to turn wood again.
And I was back in it right away and made a few pieces. However after that year again no lathe in reach, and only my bookshelves were of a few pieces richer. Many years after school, and working in my medical profession, I had rented a downtown apartment as an office. And there I discovered a lathe standing in the basement. It belonged to a deaf brother of my landlord. He happily gave me permission to use it any time I wanted, and even organized some wood for me.
So, there back I was. Time permitting I worked on and off,
and supplied an other artist who painted decorated wooden plates, Black-Forest-style, and who was happy for raw plates any time.
But again, after that with no own workshop and being busy with my main job, it paused again.
But when I came to the Okanagan and could set up a workshop on my own, a lathe was one of the first machines I bought !
BTW, in case You haven't noticed yet, You can make all spinning lathes on this page ' stop'
by touching them with your mouse cursor!
Most of my works reflect, that
Wood is a natural and living element !
Lathework - just as many other woodworks 'live' from the uniqueness of the grain structure and emphasize this.
I even like to go a step further and keep the connection of its origin - a piece of raw wood, a part of a tree, that grew
and matured and experienced the stress of life...
I do this by keeping some sections 'raw' and original,
like a bit of its bark, or a stump of a twig. And I also don't mind some drying cracks. It's a living piece of nature after all, and not a precisely machined steel part !
This is the basis to start with - raw wood.
Here juniper wood with its beautiful intensely
red core and spicy aroma. I work a lot with it !
But the greatest fun of course is, going for challenges, for achieving something special and unique. So just by working on a piece, I once had the idea to undercarve a bead and make a ring from it, that is freely suspended. Or rather even several of them. The challenge is that a small weakness in the thin material, or a little wrong edging with the knife, can easily make it break away. But when all goes well...
Of course there are also things that do have to be turned with precision - esp. multiple pieces that need to match. These here above are drawer handles.
More is going to follow here in future.
But I first need to keep my lathe spinning...
... pan your mouse cursor back and forth all across your screen - right here !
And at last here I have a special treat !
If You like to see the gracefulness of an African belly dance
- or whatever your imagination comes up with...
Simply click right here on this text and follow the instructions (but You probably already know what to do).
And another challenge I love to be creative with is asymmetrical turning. This is done by repositioning the workpiece in the lathe during the process and going deliberately out of alignment. This creates shapes with sections of offset. In the extreme example like a crankshaft of a motor. But it obviously can only be done with care and to a certain extend, because the workpiece becomes unbalanced and can get out of its hold and catapulted through the air. But with care and slower
speeds, it opens totally new ways of design.
You can make this lathe turn and showing different sides by panning your mouse cursor along the bottom !
... and make "her" dance with your mouse!