Easter Lilies #1: -OR- A New Journey

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Mark Wilson posted 04-01-2018 07:49 AM 891 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Easter Lilies series Part 2: -OR- Coming Along »

I don’t know how this is going to end, if it ends at all. I’m working without a MOJO here, after all.
I got a hankering to make a vase. I found myownbadself home early tonight, the night before Easter. I climbed up the ladder to have a look on the shelf. I found this:

It’s Cape Chestnut that I’ve had for a couple years, the last bit of it I have, I think. About 16” long, and a very gnarly 4” to 6” diameter. This is going to lose a LOT of material before it turns into anything.

First, with a saw. I need at least one square end, so I can mount it between centers. Both ends are severely skewed.

A-sawing I will go.

One square end, more or less.

Now, ‘twould be better to remove the bark in some way other than having it flying around the room. It knocks off quite easily with a prybar and a hammer.

(Note the use of Shopsmith as vise.)

Mounted ‘tween centers.

Surprisingly, I’ve gotten fairly good at balancing such Things by trial and error. It spins well enough, all the gnarliness notwithstanding.

For the longest time – since my beginnings in these endeavors, really – I’ve made it a point to close my desk before beginning the messy portion of a turning. This time, evidently, it didn’t occur to me. Note the absenseof a coffee mug. I stopped drinking coffee last October. I don’t miss it. Okay, I miss it a little.

Oh well. That’s why God made Shopvacs, right?

After knocking down some of the more obnoxious gnarly parts, the first order of business is to create a foot. The between-centers grip is tenuous, at best.

A 4” foot for a 4” G3.

So, because the cutting of the one end was such a painful experience, I slammed it to the tailstock and attempted to square up the other end with turning tools.

And, since this is the thinner end, I decided that it’d be best to create a foot at his end, too, and turn it aound such that the prospective top is at the tailstock. Whereupon I began removing material.

And, working on a shape for the top.

Whereupon I made the questionable decision to inflict this on my Buddies, cleaned up my desk, poured some Scotch, and began typing.

Whether or not I continue with this tomorrow (Easter), depends largely on how safe it is to leave Dad home alone, continue I will, at some point in the near future. It’s one of those Things that I’m afraid to leave festering for too long (strike while the iron’s hot; run with the inspiration, lest I lose it, whatnot).

You can’t say I’m not trying.

12:40 AM PDT. Happy Easter.

Headphones, everyone.

-- Mark

8 comments so far

View leafherder's profile


1952 posts in 2688 days

#1 posted 04-01-2018 01:12 PM

Hi Mark, Happy Easter to you!

Let Aesop be your guide on this one – I know it is Easter but be the Tortoise not the Hare to win this race. So far this is great – a simple but elegant shape with a bit of natural roughness to make people stop and think about how this was created from an actual tree. Slow and steady progress will bring this vision to fruition – no striking with hot irons and running – but no setting aside and festering either.

Easter Lilies do not naturally bloom at this time of year – florists force the bulbs to bloom early, which messes up the natural growth cycle so even if you try to keep the plant alive it weakens the bulb and it rarely produces such big beautiful blooms a second time. Don’t be a florist – let your vase bloom naturally in it’s own time.

Take care and keep us posted.


-- Leafherder

View bushmaster's profile


3938 posts in 3018 days

#2 posted 04-01-2018 02:05 PM

HAPPY EASTER, from the North Land. Will be standing by for more developments on this one.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View Roman - THE BOOTMAN's profile


1036 posts in 3422 days

#3 posted 04-01-2018 02:33 PM

Happy Easter from southern Alberta, the badly maligned oil province of Canada.
Wishing you the best on this day.
Waiting for the final pics from your turning!
Roman, the Bootman.

-- Author of POWER CARVING BOOTS & SHOES - Schiffer Publishing. Available online or your favourite bookstore.

View lew's profile


13086 posts in 4491 days

#4 posted 04-01-2018 03:01 PM

Gave up coffee but kept the scotch- who said you lost your mojo :^)

The vase looks like it has a super start!

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

View DocSavage45's profile


8932 posts in 3578 days

#5 posted 04-01-2018 05:22 PM


Great start to spring! Thanks for the YouTube music channel. I have realized I haven’t been listening to music which always filled me up in darker times growing up. It’s been an exceptually cold spring here. 17 degrees and wind chill last night but I woke to the sun.

I have not been creating and I have only been imagining or as my friend says being”delusional.” so I’ve invited Murphy to come and teach me, and it’s OK for me to “F* it up!” But it’s time to get my “Playing clothes on!”

Currently putting in 220 30 amp circuit for new dust collector.

Thanks for posting ! And thanks for the music. I tip my Columbian coffee cup to you. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Boxguy's profile


2870 posts in 3003 days

#6 posted 04-01-2018 08:47 PM

Mark, potential is ever the greatest burden. Whether that potential lies in wood or men. High risk and high reward is ever a dilemma. Do go for it. There is no loss in failure unless you let it become defeat. I wish you well. Happy Easter.

-- Big Al in IN

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2810 posts in 1799 days

#7 posted 04-01-2018 09:09 PM

John, thanks for the botany lesson.
Brian and Roman, it’s totally Spring, here. Been so for about a month.
Lew, Tom, and Al: Ever the philosophers. Thanks.

-- Mark

View Grumpy's profile


26321 posts in 4587 days

#8 posted 04-02-2018 11:33 PM

Mate, it’s amazing what we can do with an old lump of wood.

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

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics