Monday, October 12, 2009

One-of-a-Kind Finds

Reverting back to form, I'm going to talk about wood this month. I work with wood on a daily basis. I understand wood far better than pottery or sewing or stained glass. I'm most comfortable discussing this wonderful natural material, so that's what you're getting from me this time.

I decided to pick out a few items that are true one-of-a-kind finds. No matter how many of these a particular artist might make, no two could ever be alike due to the unique nature of the woods used in these marvelous works of art.

Ash Bowl by MaxWood Creations

I don't turn wood. I want to turn wood, but a lathe is a big investment and there are several other items ahead of it on my list. In the meantime I'll just have to drool over the beautiful turn objects at DSG, not the least of which is this bowl by MaxWood Creations. As a useful kitchen utensil it is an abject failure because it has a hole in it. As a piece of art, however, it is pure greatness of the highest order!

From MaxWood Creations: "This Ash bowl is so cool! As it was being turned, a knot was worked out creating a void in the side of the bowl. And because it was turned when the wood was still green, the wood dried after it was completed, and as a result, the bowl changed shape a little bit. So the bowl is not perfectly round. But it is striking and very unique! It would be a great focal point on a side table, on a mantle, or in a curio."

This bowl deserves to occupy a place of honor in someone's home.

Spalted Maple Jewelry Box by Welcome Woods Workshop

Jewelry boxes. I plan to build some jewelry boxes in the next year, and I'll be referring to this one for inspiration. This wonderful box features contrasting wood, visible joinery (the splines on the corners), and sturdy, simple lines that let the beauty of the wood shine.

From Welcome Woods Workshop: "A simple yet elegant hand crafted, solid maple jewelry box. It is made from Spalted maple which I hand milled myself with a small chainsaw mill and came from a large maple tree in an old churchyard here on the Sunshine Coast. The top is made from black cherry as are the splines. It is finished with a durable varnish clear coat."

This box will stand out in just about any d├ęcor, yet the design won't get in the way of your jewelry.

Elemental Slide by Holzfurhaus

Yeah... One more piece that makes me regret not owning a lathe. I love working with walnut because of the feel of the wood under my tools and the wonderful smell. I can just imagine how nice it would be to turn a bowl out of walnut.

From Holzfurhaus: "This is another bowl in the Elemental series. It is made from walnut, with a sanded natural edge to make it a lilttle more intersesting. It has deep dark shades of walnut color. This is an ornamental piece not intended for food or liquid."

This bowl should be in my library right now. I know just the place for it...

Mantle Clock by Marko Wood Designs

Tim Marko is a friend of mine. He live a few miles away from me, and I plan to spend some time in his shop stealing every secret the man has about finishing wood. The clock you see above has some wonderful design elements -- visible joinery, through tenons, the spalted cottonwood face -- but the true beauty of a Tim Marko piece is how well he finishes the wood. He has a very specific go-to formula he uses, but I think the real trademark is in the loving care he pours into every square inch.

Tim Marko says: "This clock is made from ash and spalted cottonwood. It uses a quartz chime movement that plays on the quarter hour and counts the hour. It has a natural finish."

Jagged Maple Burl Vessel by Natural Selection Studio

This bowl/vase/upside-down cone is turned from a piece of maple burl, a misshapen, malformed bit of a maple tree that woodworkers prize for it's beauty. And that beauty has been enhanced here by the gouge and the lathe, imposing a mostly symmetrical form upon a natural mistake. The results speak for themselves. And the real genius of this design is leaving the natural "wild" edge at the rim.

Natural Selection Studio says: "This wonderful vessel is overflowing with interesting color and figure. It measures 5-3/4" tall by 4-1/2" wide at the rim. Need a focal point in your decor? This is it! Finished with walnut oil."

And it would make a fine focal point indeed!

I trust this little tour through the wooded regions of Design Style Guide has given you some design ideas of your own. Check out the other offerings from all our woodworkers. You won't be disappointed.


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debbabcock said...

Beautiful selections and interesting article, Jay.

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