Thursday, February 19, 2009

Still don't like it.

I hate staining wood. I guess its better than painting it, even though I enjoy painting.

I don't normally stain my work, I like the wood to speak for it self. There is such character in wood grain and I try and select the most interesting I can find. My current project requires very dark aged walnut. I've had some success in the past with adding a painted patina and that would work this time as well. The trouble is, it needs to be as authentic as possible and a light wash of paint over the many different materials involved just wouldn't hold up and age properly.

I guess the real question is does it even matter? The tiny things I make just sit around and collect dust. In time your not going to be able to tell the difference. Unless it's handled a lot and rubbed, then the paint would peel and reveal the hidden little errors. The added time to do things right the first time can make all the difference. So I've taken the time to use filler and stain the wood. Then it's time for more sanding and a five stage finish. I hope this piece is looked at and held often....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This seems a little strange.....

I made a beautiful alabaster pedestal bowl a couple weeks ago. I used Italian white crystal alabaster for the bowl and manzanita root burl for the pedestal foot. Nice contrast between the two. I managed to thin the bowl down far enough to have it translucent.

I should have been pleased, but it lacked in execution. There is a small raised spot on the flat bottom. It shouldn't have a flat bottom and of course no raised spots either. I employed a mortise and tenon joint to attach the two together. the joint worked fine but I cut the bowl to shallow and left a collar of stone around the wood. The stone fractured around the collar and left tiny jagged fragments.

It's small, just not miniature. The bowl diameter is 1.5" that's too big for my current scale of work.
In 1/12 scale it would be 18" and just under a foot tall.

After it sat in the craft room for a couple weeks, I brought it out for a peer review. I pass everything by my wife and family first. Mostly for the ego boost they give me. I know their a little biased. Anyway, Elaine is at least honest and tells it to me straight and if she likes something really well she keeps it. The bowl was well received but with reserved praise. While holding it up to a light source to check the transparency of it, a light went on in my head......