Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Posting Day!

New nosties have arrived today! I posted those three beauties below, as well as four new crochet hooks on eBay!

I'd forgotten how much I like making nostepindes! I had lots of fun turning them, and whatever you choose to call them: nostepindes, nostepinnes, or ball winders, they turned out great!

Nosties work wonderfully well as ball winders for those extra-long, extra- un-wound hanks of yarn that you find in your LYS. I find them incredibly useful, especially to prevent the over-stretching of yarn that you tend to get when you use a mechanical ball winder.

I couldn't help but use some of my favorite colors of the Dyed Hardwoods... annnnnnnndddd Curly Maple! Yes, that beauty in the middle has chatoyant stripes that dance in the light!

Check them out!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Posting Day!

Guess what.... it's posting day! Hooray!

I have added FIVE lovely new lovelies to eBay, including those three peeking out from the side!

As I was making these hooks, I had so much fun putting together different colored woods, combining the dyed hardwoods with beautiful natural colors.

Of course my design ideas were just flying! The shapes seemed to "play" as I gently turned them with my chisels, coming out with gorgeous designs!

The theme, I think, this week must be summer and the beginnings of fall. Even as our tomatoes ripen in the garden and the yellow flowers of the cucumbers grow into fruit, the prairie is goldening.

The wind is bringing that wonderful cool air that tells me autumn is beginning to fall. The fresh breezes invigorate my spirit, and inspire me to do wonderful things.

The lathes have me at their beck and call, the wood sings from the shelves: Pick ME first! New tools want their turn too, anxious to participate in autumnal bliss!

I love fall. It has all the freshness of spring, but in colors of maturity -- reds, oranges, soothing browns, and subtle greens; the golden prairie reflects peacefulness and wealth that the season brings.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Posting Day!

Hooray, it's posting day! I have put up some extraordinary beauties this week on eBay!

I had the urge to do another polka-dot hook -- it must be the summer sunshine taking effect! I love Osage Orange -- the color and smoothness can't be beat! It's a wonderfully golden orange color, and I couldn't resist pairing it with purple! (What better combination?)

When I create these special hooks, I always like to shade the colors very carefully and add multiple layers of paint, so that it adds a richness to the piece, and ends up having a jewel-like quality. This little polka-dotted beauty came out to be very lovely indeed!

Of course, my favorite hook of this week has to be the "Golden Blooms" hook -- I really love the natural way the design wants to meander around the hook. This particular hook has "one" vine that connects all of the flowers (and bud!), and wraps around the piece, culminating in a tiny spiral ending at the top of the hook.

The design is completely carved into the hook, then painted in metallic acrylics. The carving gives the design depth and permanency. I painted the flowers in various shades of gold with a pearly white center, and the vines in several shades of green.

Both pieces are signed with my artist's mark. (You can see my "snowflake" at the top of the Osage Orange hook). I had a delightful time creating these two hooks!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cindy Drozda 5-day Workshop -- Review

I've just come back from Utah -- 16 hours driving through the deserts and mountains of Wyoming, crossing the Continental Divide four times, (ask me how this is possible), and finally arriving back home with new ideas, new thoughts, and new inspirations!

A five-day workshop is pretty intense... even for me... (and I'm known for my insatiable desire for knowledge and improvement)... Cindy shared so much of her expert knowledge, it was a dream come true!

Days 1 & 2 were devoted to learning proper turning technique -- beads and coves and vee-grooves with both the bowl and spindle gouges, culminating in design exercises which resulted in some very interesting forms! With so many in the class, it was incredibly valuable to be able to see others' ideas for shape and composition, share critiques, and try out new designs with each iteration of turning. Cindy shared her secrets about what makes a successful design, as we worked on both vessel and finial forms.

Day 3 was devoted to making our own Fabulous Finial Box, which Cindy is so well known for creating! My box (photo on the right) was made from Claro Walnut with a Holly inlay and foot. Such a beautiful design, complicated too, but Cindy's step-by-step instruction made it easy to complete within the day. (Yes, even that tiny finial was easily within reach with Cindy's superb teaching of technique!) Another session of group comparison led to all kinds of design inspirations!

Day 4 brought a wealth of possibilities, with the fabulous Cindy Drozda allowing a choice of projects among the group!

There were at LEAST 5 different projects/variations going on at once, and Cindy, who is so incredibly versatile, like the great turning Masters, went from lathe to lathe, easily switching gears to help each student with his/her chosen turning, and effortlessly demonstrating methods of solving any difficulties s/he might have had.

Of course, me being me, I watched ALL the projects, and got a little behind on my turning, but I did finish the natural-edge Mushroom Box (on the left), made of English Yew. (Even though I didn't get to make it in class, I also watched Cindy turn a square-edged bowl, as well as demo dyeing techniques, both of which I am going to try at home!)

By day 5 I was almost exhausted! Cindy suggested I do a hollow form for relaxation purposes, and what a fantastic idea that was! I turned a spalted wet maple hollow form with walls 1/8" thick -- what a joy! (And that Jamieson hollowing system is a MUST HAVE!)

On day 5 Cindy also gave a wonderful presentation on how to "read" burls as well as plan projects using the figure of the wood to best advantage -- invaluable knowledge for us to have.

Conclusion: Whenever Cindy Drozda teaches a class, I will be the FIRST to sign up! Her knowledge of turning is impeccable, and her ability to teach turning technique is nothing short of extraordinary. By the end of the week, each and every student in the class improved his/her technique, as well as improved design in their unique style.

by Cindy Drozda

Far from being a "copy me" class, Cindy encouraged and spurred each student to find their own direction. No one's boxes looked the same -- and through her encouragement of group communication, we all learned from each other.

Cindy Drozda, the Great Woodturner, is nothing short of a woodturning Master. And the best part is.... we all had lots of FUN!!!

Fantastic fantastic class! I can't possibly say enough about this incredible experience!!! I arrived home filled with new knowledge, overflowing with inspiration, and best of all, the insatiable desire to TURN...

Another event of note... I have it on good authority that Cindy will be at the Loveland Sculpture Invitational this very weekend, August 7-9th! I can't wait to see more of her exquisite artwork in person!

See you there!

Posting Day!

I've just posted four new lovely hooks on eBay, (including the one below!) Check them out!