Studio time

As I get ready for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Southwest Flair A-Fair starting this Friday, I have been enjoying having a few days in the studio to make new vessels. Knowing my time was limited, I have focused on small vessels, which I always love. There is real sweetness in making things that just fit in a cupped hand. At the same time, I have been trying to finish a slightly more ambitious piece, a mesquite jar inspired by a revisiting of the classic book How to Wrap Five Eggs, about Japanese packaging. I am making a lid of shaped and dyed half-inch oak boards. As soon as the finish cures (which seems to be taking longer than expected—perhaps because of the dye I used—namely, Fiebing’s black leather dye), I will glue the handles to the lid and the vessel will be ready to go. The body of the jar is simple but handsome. I wirebrushed the exterior of the mesquite to give it an almost clay feel.

Studio shots

I’m gradually getting settled with my new lathe in my still-newish studio digs, but here are some pictures, finally.

My new lathe, a 2-hp, 230-v Jet 1642.

I plan to install pegboard on the divider behind my lathe for easy tool access.

My work bench.

I’m still finding places for many things. In the meantime they clutter my work bench. Notice the handy space for wood storage below my bench.

My work space and Pat's.

You can see the lathe (a 1.5-hp Delta) and work space of the studio’s owner and my shop mate, Pat Reddemann, in the background.

Both my lathes.

Right now, my old lathe abuts the new one. The plan is to set up my vacuum chuck on the old lathe for both Pat and I to use whenever, without having to change the setup on our primary lathes. We will probably find a new spot for my old lathe soon, so I’ll have more working room at the end of my new lathe.

Pat's bandsaw.

Pat got this new 18″ Grizzly bandsaw just a couple of months ago and has already gone through several blades.

My tool chest and storage area.

This storage area and my tool chest area to my right as I face my lathe. The cabinet is full of wood. The shelves hold mostly half-finished pieces and finishes and solvents.

Our joint woodpile.

Pat and I share larger logs we’ve harvested together: a lot of mesquite, but also some African sumac and pepper tree.

My woodpile.

Under the tarp is yet more of the wood I’ve harvested from locally felled trees, mostly mesquite.