You're Too Young to Go Steady #1: A Bowl of No Particular Significance (Or is it?)

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Blog entry by Mark Wilson posted 04-10-2017 09:30 AM 1925 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of You're Too Young to Go Steady series no next part

About the title:
I started , a couple years ago, writing about something I was working on, and set the Blog Series concept aside, because it just wasn’t clicking in my feeble mind. Now, I have something that seems to fit the scheme.
I’m working, these last few days, on another Jacaranda bowl. I seem to be somewhat fixated on the Jacaranda for good reason. To wit: When I brought it home and cut it up, I sealed the ends with Parafin. This was a couple years ago. It seems, in the interim, to have seasoned quite nicely, without cracking, checking. or splitting. So, here’s where this journey through Wilson’s head begins, this time:

This is the other half of the log from which the previous piece was turned, and the wax is clearly visible on one end.

I’m rounding it up, envisioning a roundish bowl, with the bark left intact, without any delusions of a “hollow form with a lid,” or any such thing. Just a nice, small (4-1/2”D, or so), bowl. In the roughing, it begins looking pretty punky. I’m not worried about it – the last one was the same, and I got over it.

This is just an “Ordinary Bowl,” right? An “Ordinary Bowl-With-The-Bark-On-The-Sides” proposition. Right? So, it is.
I’m not worried about a thing. My tools, crappy though they be, are sharp enough; I’m not above doing a lot of sanding; this’ll be good. I got a notification in FB about my sister in Law’s birthday, so I start thinking that, mebees – just mebbees – I’ll finish this puppy up today and send it to her as a gift. Today, I start polishing. A note about polishing:
I recently came upon the knowledge that, contrary to my previous “knowledge,” rattle-can lacquer is legal to acquire, and available, in these parts. I’ve used it on the last couple pieces. This is a very good thing, because, as many of you know, it’s the wood that I love. Not what I can do to the wood, but, the wood itself. This Lacquer gives me an opportunity that I had, hitherto, been unaware of. That is, I can polish a piece to its best, naturally occurring, ability to shine, then, using the Lacquer, lock in that natural beauty, without the addition of anything else, be it oil, stain, or anything. (You cannot ”friction polish,” with shellac, or Shine Juice, over an uneven surface, such as bark.) I commenced polishing, thusly: .100; 150; 220; 320; 400; Micromesh through the nine levels that, roughly, equal 600 through 12,000. Here’s what that looks like, in general:

Swell, huh? It’s sweller, by far, up close. I promise.

Now, I blow the Lacquer on it. Three coats, buffing between coats, with a bit of brown paper bag.

This is gorgeous, says VIMH (my harshest critic. A piece truly worthy of gifting.)

Encouraged, I think, I can finish this, today (being yesterday).

I turned it around and hogged it out. (There’s not much to see, here, but, trust me, the inside winds up almost a lovely as VIMH says the outside is. )

I mounted it in the Longworth Chuck, to complete the bottom.
This is where it gains acceptance into the “You’re too Young To Go Steady” milieu. “You’re too young to go steady” can be paraphrased as “You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know.”
As an artist, or indeed, as a human (IF one is introspective and thoughtful about it all), one knows, deep in his soul, that it’s a journey, after all. Innit? That is to say that, if you’re not going forward in your steps, you’re either standing still, or going bassackwards.
I turned the little foot on the bottom, scared to death of breaking through, polished it up, signed it, and began shaking the Lacquer can. I blew on the lacquer. VIMH says, THAT WAS A MISTAKE!

Nay, nay, say I. (This is where the aforementioned concept of “moving forward” crosses my silly mind.

I can work with this..


This doesn’t have to be a “failure.” This can be a “moving forward” moment.

Stay tuned.

-- Mark

11 comments so far

View Tooch's profile


2012 posts in 2481 days

#1 posted 04-10-2017 09:43 AM

Good stuff Mark. what a beaut

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2696 posts in 1668 days

#2 posted 04-10-2017 09:54 AM

OMG,Tooch. In the time it took me to read through this, you read it, and commented on it?
Stay tuned: VIMH and I are in conference about it, as we speak. Sleep, I must. To sleep; to dream.
That someone, somewhere, is paying attention to what I’m doing, at such an unGodly hour? Means the world to me.

-- Mark

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2696 posts in 1668 days

#3 posted 04-10-2017 10:01 AM

There’s a Scripture, somewhere, that says (paraphrasing) “Be hospitable to everyone you meet, for you don’t know but that you may be entertaining angels unawares.”

-- Mark

View doubleDD's profile


8962 posts in 2648 days

#4 posted 04-10-2017 12:55 PM

Good blog Mark. I agree with you on bark not polishing up naturally with the rest of the piece without a little help.And I’m a bark man too. But without bark, there’s no bite.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View lew's profile


12932 posts in 4360 days

#5 posted 04-10-2017 01:42 PM

Hebrews 13:2
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

King James Version (KJV)

Nicely done, Mark. I’m sure the angels are being entertained.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2696 posts in 1668 days

#6 posted 04-10-2017 06:05 PM

Thanks, Lew.

-- Mark

View leafherder's profile


1889 posts in 2557 days

#7 posted 04-10-2017 10:03 PM

A lovely little bowl with a well illustrated blog. Can hardly contain my anticipation for the “moving forward” part.

-- Leafherder

View Grumpy's profile


25952 posts in 4456 days

#8 posted 04-10-2017 10:51 PM

Great work Mark.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View bushmaster's profile


3770 posts in 2887 days

#9 posted 04-11-2017 01:40 AM

Looks great, I have never tried or even entered into my mind to turn something crosswise, Interesting and you managed to get it done in one piece. As I was scrolling down, I was thinking, something terrible is going to happen. A winner, you got it done in one piece. will try and get to the post office soon. Maybe Thursday. we are going into town to see a High school play.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View CFrye's profile


10823 posts in 2445 days

#10 posted 04-11-2017 02:29 PM

Looks good from here. Mark. Why did the VIYH say ”THAT WAS A MISTAKE!”? Am I missing something (wouldn’t be the first time)?

-- God bless, Candy

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2696 posts in 1668 days

#11 posted 04-11-2017 07:48 PM

Thank you, Candy. Take a close look at the photo to the right of the signature photo. You’ll see, when I post this as a project, why my reply to VIMH was, “Nay, nay.” It’s in the process of becoming a “design element.”

-- Mark

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