koa and wenge lamp

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Project by cathyb posted 08-22-2012 10:49 PM 2693 views 4 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This past weekend I participated in a fair in Honolulu. I made these lamps for the fair. Unfortunately, I was so short on time that I never had a chance to take a decent picture before they were boxed up. As I was setting up for the fair, I thought I’ll bring my camera tomorrow and get a photo. As luck would have it, this pair of lamps sold before that ever happened. Fortunately, my client allowed me to go to her house after the fair to get a photo.

I know that this is not a good picture and the shades look larger on the image than they really are, but you get the idea.

This pair of lamps represent my signature laminate lamps. The layers in the lamp are first koa, then wenge, then koa and then luan. The lamp is an octagon, with wenge inlay on the joints. I turned the lamp on the lathe with a tenon on each end. The lamp is then mortised into a base of wenge. The top is mortised with a cap of koa. They stand about 30inches tall and each is roughly 5 and 1/2 inches in diameter. After I turned the lamp, I finished them first with Barkley light brown pore filler, followed by Myland’s sanding sealer and Myland’s friction polish. I hand sanded them to 1800 grit with micro mesh sheets and waxed them with Liberon’s Black Bison Paste Wax.
I loved these lamps and hoped that they wouldn’t sell so that I could keep them. Oh well, I’ll have to make them again.
BTW, I was shocked to learn that I can’t purchase Barkley’s pore filler any more. If any of you LJ’s have some that you’d like to part with, please sell it to me ;).

-- cathyb, Hawaii

28 comments so far

View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 4118 days

#1 posted 08-22-2012 11:33 PM

Yes Cathy that is very nice and I am happy that you sold the lamps .
I would like to see some project in progress pics as lathe work is something I have not done much .
Elaborate on the sale ,it’s always interesting how it went and what is in demand .
Take care and stay well.

-- Kiefer

View vonhagen's profile


549 posts in 3816 days

#2 posted 08-22-2012 11:55 PM

very cool lamp cathy you did an outstanding job

-- no matter what size job big or small do a job right or don't do it at all.

View cathyb's profile


860 posts in 4695 days

#3 posted 08-23-2012 12:02 AM

Well the sale was interesting. I didn’t know what to expect after last year’s down economy. I tried not to take too many pieces of furniture this year. My inventory at the fair included the following: lamps, jewelry boxes, urns, small boxes, a rocking chair, a pair of night stands, my entry way table with the curved legs and a gong on a stand.
I sold 6 of 11 lamps, one of the jewelry boxes, all but one of the small boxes, one of the three urns, and the rocking chair. I got four commissions from the fair, two new wholesale contacts and lots of admirers. Anytime I sell a rocking chair, I feel that I’ve hit the mark. I know that I will get a commission for another chair soon because it was wildly popular. In fact, one customer sat in the chair and proclaimed it was to be her chair. I said, “If you like this chair, you’d better buy it because it will sell.” Four hours later it was gone.
I’m still tired from the fair today, but tomorrow those commissions need to be addressed.
My assessment from speaking with other vendors is that they had gained more wholesale accounts and the individual sells were okay. I feel that the wholesalers feel that Christmas this year will be better and that accounted for their buying. We’ll see….........

-- cathyb, Hawaii

View shipwright's profile


8816 posts in 4249 days

#4 posted 08-23-2012 12:39 AM

Great lamps Cathy.
I can see how you could become attached to them. ...........but the sale is good too.
Maybe some day I’ll sell something. My house is filling up.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 3640 days

#5 posted 08-23-2012 12:45 AM

Classy looking lamp !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Boxguy's profile


2905 posts in 3719 days

#6 posted 08-23-2012 12:59 AM

Cathy, I really like this design. It is classic, and it is you. You are a superb craftsperson. Thanks for sharing this work and I am glad you had such a successful fair. The ultimate test of your art is that someone buys it. Acclaim is nice, but money spends better. I am looking forward to seeing what else you post.

-- Big Al in IN

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4549 posts in 4013 days

#7 posted 08-23-2012 01:21 AM


Very nice layered and turned lamp came out very well. Not alot of people can do turning and flat work in high quality like you do.

Well done on the selling also.


-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View Tom Godfrey's profile

Tom Godfrey

488 posts in 3627 days

#8 posted 08-23-2012 02:24 AM

Love those lamps. You do some awesome work. Maybe, I said maybe one day I will be able to turn out work half as nice as yours. Glad to hear about your success at the shows. That is something I am looking in to.
Going to add you to my buddy so I can keep up with your future work. Hope that’s okay.

-- Tom Godfrey Landrum South Carolina ([email protected])

View cathyb's profile


860 posts in 4695 days

#9 posted 08-23-2012 02:45 AM

Tom I would be honored to be a buddy of yours. :)

-- cathyb, Hawaii

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 4395 days

#10 posted 08-23-2012 02:49 AM

Cathy, wonderful lamps.

Agree with Boxguy, if people put their money where their mouth is, is just because they find value. And indeed it has.

-- Back home. Fernando

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30677 posts in 3789 days

#11 posted 08-23-2012 03:15 AM

I still hate you for having that much access to Koa wood, but you sure do nice work! Keep it up.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View cathyb's profile


860 posts in 4695 days

#12 posted 08-23-2012 03:27 AM

Actually my main pile is dramatically reduced to about 150 bf. I’ve called around today to replenish my supply as quickly as possible. To be honest, if I had easy access to Brazilian cherry or black walnut or premium mahogany or narra, I’d use those woods instead. Since there such a premium for koa in the Islands that’s the focus of the sawyers. There are other wonderful trees here that don’t get enough attention and I wish they did. For example, I made a rocking chair from tropical ash that came from the Big Island. I still have it because no one is interested in ash, just koa. Oh well…......

-- cathyb, Hawaii

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 4365 days

#13 posted 08-23-2012 09:14 AM

Very Cool Lamps, Really beautiful!
Craftsmanship is outstanding, Great work!
Thanks for sharing.

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View DBoltz's profile


122 posts in 3830 days

#14 posted 08-23-2012 10:29 AM

Beautiful lamps, Cathy! I went to Hawaii in June and fell in love with Koa. My wife and I are having Hawaii withdrawls. Her birthday is coming up so I made her a Hawaiian fish hook pendant. I used purple heart but if I would have had koa, I would have used that. Anyways, nice craftsmanship and design. Very nice.

-- Dan, Virginia Beach

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4255 days

#15 posted 08-23-2012 12:51 PM

Beautiful Cathy.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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