I have a major show coming up in just a bit over three weeks, so I’m trying to get in gear and get productive. This is just one of the business aspects of trying to make a living as an artist. It requires a different mindset than simply creating what is in my heart. Unlike many woodturners, I don’t have a production line, which means I don’t make the same item or type of item over and over. I do have to consider the marketplace, however, and make sure that when I do a show, I have available a wide range of vessels, in terms of price, size, shape, style, etc.—mostly so that I can offer customers choices, but also because variety makes for a more-inviting display.
Variety also, of course, keeps the creative process fresh for me. Even when I am focused on producing a lot of work efficiently, I still want every vessel to be uniquely itself. I want the process to remain one of creation, not one of mass production.
The upcoming show also means that I need to put off solving some equipment problems I’ve been having—chiefly with my chucks. The spindle on my old lathe was 1 inch; that on my new lathe is 1¼ inches, which meant that I had to change the insert on my old Teknatool Supernova chuck. The insert had seized, however, and in removing it, I appear to have damaged a jaw slide, as the slides no longer meet snugly at the center (and jaws don’t close properly either). The damage isn’t readily identifiable, however, and I’ve already spent one afternoon trying to pinpoint the problem. That chuck used to be perfectly centered, with perfect repeatability when I would remove and replace pieces. My new chuck, a Supernova 2, isn’t perfect, but I can’t spare the time right now to tweak it either. I’ll let you know what I figure out when I finally have time, after the show. In the meantime, I just have to make do. To quote Tim Gunn, “Make it work!”