Another Turn-ed Sculpture

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Project by Mark Wilson posted 09-20-2018 11:41 PM 817 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Let us chalk this one up to I wanted to see what would happen.

Oh. That’s never been done.

Just what does he mean by “Turn-ed Sculpture?”

It means, simply, that, it’s turn-ed on the lathe, but, at some point, he had to put a chisel, or some carving tool to it.
What I started with was a chunk of Jacaranda that had the appearance of a crotch.

Yes. I have montages – a good number of them.

Note the lower left photo, for explanation of the foregoing. Note, also, that the wax covering I put on this has become completely gunked with dust that wouldn’t come off, and I couldn’t read the identity of the wood which I had scrawled upon it. It may well be Sycamore. I’m fairly certain it’s Jacaranda. (Just now – that’s right, this very present, throbbing moment – it occurred to me that I could’ve scraped the be-gunked wax off with a razor blade.) Alack and alas, we’ll never know.

So, I thought that, given there seem to be two branches separating, I could get a bowl of sorts with the figure spreading out from the center. Then, as I proceeded, it became apparent to me that the real challenge would be to simply keep the two sides from completely separating at 2000 RPM. Thankfully, they didn’t. I also found myownbadself wishing that there were still about 4” left of the branch the two had separated from.

I also ran into the old “collapsed sides” that often come with an oblong bit of timber. This limited the amount of material that I could take out of the inside. Not wanting to blow out the bark, I had to leave it rather thick. However, I also had that branch end on one side where I wanted to retain the bark, as well as the end in its entirety. This meant that one side would stand higher than the other. I began to see a potential flame shape, the challenge being to keep that high side intact, and to blow off as little of the bark as I could manage. Some bark blew off. But you know what? That’s okay. The lower side’s bark came off in the roughing. That’s where the chisel came in. I cleaned it up into a flat slope of end grain. I like it okay. So, when that little bit of the bark departed from the high side (disintegrated, really – lost and gone forever, not to be picked up off the floor and glued back in place), I decided to mimic that slope on a smaller scale. A shiny-smooth interruption in the bark, now. That’s all it is, rather than “missing bark.”

You meant to do that.

Yes, I did, Smartypants. You tell it your way. I’ll tell it my way.

A couple more montages, out of context though they may be, just to share the progression of events.

Pretty much all the shaping was done with those wonderful new gouges.

Okay. More than a couple. I warned you.

I did what I usually do to bring out figure. I slathered it with Shine Juice, power-off, of course – there’s no friction polishing on such a thing.

I got me a foot, and began carefully wallering her out. So many breakable spots.

And, a couple days later – being today – I went as far with it as I dare, and took some pictures for you to see.

Why did he only put four photos in the Gallery? He always puts six in there.

Because there’s a hole in the bottom, if you must know.

Not because I dug too deep, but because, as I went in with the parting tool to cut it off, I did the “normal thing.” That is, I got it down to where it started wobbling and stopped cutting – to just break it off the little stem that’s left. The top of the stem was what used to be where the hole is. I’m not proud of it, but, there you go.

An “Exercise in Not Breaking It.”

I meant to do that.

Thank you. And, I apologize.

-- Mark

10 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25173 posts in 3950 days

#1 posted 09-20-2018 11:47 PM

Nice work, Mark!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View ZAGREB's profile


1276 posts in 2495 days

#2 posted 09-21-2018 12:00 AM

you can call it ” allmost bowl”
nice work,Mark

-- bambi

View Grumpy's profile


26603 posts in 4696 days

#3 posted 09-21-2018 12:37 AM

Mark, I have some Jacaranda, recently acquired. I like the grain pattern on yours so looking forward to turning my cuts.

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

View leafherder's profile


1965 posts in 2797 days

#4 posted 09-21-2018 02:18 AM

Hi Mark,
In case you are unfamiliar do a Google search for George Ohr Pottery – this piece reminds me of his work – then do some research on George Ohr himself – known as the Mad Potter – a true creative genius. I may have to start calling you the Mad Wood Turner – just know that it’s a compliment.


-- Leafherder

View DocSavage45's profile


9017 posts in 3688 days

#5 posted 09-21-2018 02:37 AM


Nice to see you got your mojo back. Impressive artpiece. Have you thought about a similar project with very thin walls? Check out the Smithsonian turners/

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View lew's profile


13176 posts in 4600 days

#6 posted 09-21-2018 12:55 PM

I really like the way you let the beauty of the wood dictate the shape, form and thickness of this turning.

I used to part off pieces as I had seen in so many videos- part until the turning comes off in your hand. That invariably left a ragged incision that often went below the surface of the wood. I’ve now taken to using a japanese pull saw to make the final separation and then sanding the nub smooth.

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

View bushmaster's profile


3950 posts in 3128 days

#7 posted 09-21-2018 01:56 PM

exotic wood, exotic lathe turning. when I get time I will have to do a complete review of all the great things you are doing.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7776 posts in 1557 days

#8 posted 09-21-2018 01:58 PM


-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View Roman - THE BOOTMAN's profile


1046 posts in 3531 days

#9 posted 09-21-2018 03:25 PM

You sure tore that crotch rather severely. Good to see you out of the box! One of a kind! Nicely done.

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

View luv2learn's profile


3073 posts in 3148 days

#10 posted 09-21-2018 03:28 PM

You are fearless Mark when it comes to turning. My hat is off to you my friend.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

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