Those of you paying regular visits will remember (unless your memory is like mine) the arrival of a substantial elm burr a little while ago, if not then the update is here.
As I hinted in the original article I sometimes struggle with these "interesting" lumps of wood, I want to preserve the interesting textures and the features but I have to select which of the ideas I have scribbled down in my notebooks might be applied to this particular interesting bit of wood.
In this case I knew right away that I wanted to keep as much as possible in terms of the features and to simply reveal them, creating a simple shape was the obvious thing to do and since it was being done on a lathe .... a round shape would be simplest!!
Having been engaged in looking at the enigmatic cup and ring marked rocks which are all around the area and across Scotland in general I was lead to creating some work which reflected those ...I ended up producing a series of these works all influenced by the cup and ring marks, but more of that later on...
So the inital idea was a round shape with some concentric (big word, look it up) markings on one side and the reverse simply turned into a smooth shallow curve - yes a big frisbee!
So as I was headed to Andrew's place I decided to put the thing onto the train and take it with me....at around 50 kg it has to be said that may not have been the most sensible of things to do but I have never claimed to be sensible so there you go.
So after lugging the thing around and with these ideas the thing was put on the lathe (Stubby of course) and put into round, and of course here I faced the first of the choices...voids.
What do you do with voids? You can, of course, just turn them away...though taking that approach often creates a nice pen blank and a large pile of shavings - sound familiar?.
You can fill them with something, looking at YouTube it would seem that the current trend is for resin of some kind and whilst some of these look very nice I just can't escape the fact that it is plastic and I don't particularly like plastic....sorry that's just a character defect of mine.
My instinct is to be guided by the wood and let it speak (I did warn you about the arty stuff) as most of my work is in reality a dialogue between the tree and me anyway this is the most natural thing and of course the whole "wabi sabi" (look it up on Google) thing is very big in our house.
Thankfully I got a lift home as it is still one heavy lump of wood and those two burst discs are not getting any better.
So it has ended up with very little "fiddling" and been put into the simplest of shapes, is it finished?
Not quite yet!!
So keep tuned for part 3.
The photos are below - apologies for the yellow cast on some of them, photography is not my strong suit!