Fun in the studio

I had fun in the studio today. I resumed turning postsurgery three weeks ago, but I have spent only a few days here and there during those weeks actually turning, including two days of open studio. Today was the first really full day I’ve had working in the studio and the first day I really felt my mojo back. I had been feeling tentative and clumsy. Today, I picked up a large chunk of spalted wild cherry that someone had brought me during the studio tour. He had had it since 1990 (!), and I found it to be cracked throughout and utterly dry and very punky. What came off the gouge was mostly dust, with a few dry shavings. (My studio now looks like it’s coated in brick dust.) I decided, what the hell! It felt like a perfect opportunity to play, with nothing at stake and always the possibility of a bowl.

I tried to cut past the cracks, but discovered that they went all the way through. The wood was so punky and funky that I decided to go for an elegant shape, leaving the walls thick for integrity, and let the texture be what it would, in contrast to the shape. I sanded with 60-grit sandpaper just to reduce the unavoidable tearout and then sandblasted the bowl inside and out. It ended up with a wonderful weathered-sandstone appearance. I applied a single but generous coating of Danish oil to bring out the rich cherry/sandstone color. I love the result, though I know it’s not for everyone. What do you think? (The photos are just snapshots, so please forgive the color variation. The second photo is most representative of the actual color—at least on my computer.)

Facebook and general update

I have just joined Facebook, so if you are already a member, please find me and invite me to be your friend and become a fan of my page. I am new to this whole social networking thing, so please be patient with me while I learn the ropes. I joined because I’ve been hearing from many sources that social networking is the new wave of art marketing, but as a bonus, it looks like I may get to reconnect with some old friends as well. I very much look forward to that.

I also realized that I have been blogging more than I knew—just not in this blog. Instead, I have been posting updates to my home page, when I could have been doing it here instead. Realizing that will make me come here more. In addition, I will be figuring out how to integrate this blog into my Facebook activities, so there is added incentive to write more often.

I have neglected my art business this year, as I have focused on fixing up our new (to us) house. As I near the end of the major tasks, though, I find myself turning back with renewed drive. I am determined to be more disciplined on the business side of my art this year, beginning with my online presence. I am also bursting with ideas to try out on and off the lathe.

If you haven’t seen them already, here are some new-ish pieces that might hint at some of my new directions.

“Assent, Ascent”