The 2010 Greater Jacksonville Fair started a couple days ago. It runs for 11 days from November 3rd to 14th. One of the attractions at the Fair is the 3rd Annual Wood Turners Exhibit and Contest. This is the first year I have entered the contest. I have submitted two entries into the General Entry Category.
My first entry is a pair of rice bowls, complete with chopsticks and chopstick holders. The rice bowls are 4 1/2″ x 2 1/2″. They were first turned on the lathe and then painted. Silver leaf gilding was then applied to the outside of the bowls. The silver leaf was then patina with the application of potash.
The gilding and patina were techniques I learned at a demonstration by David Marks at the 2010 AAW Symposium in Hartford, Connecticut. It is an interesting process that allows for some beautiful random, but predictable results.
Making the rice bowls as a pair was interesting in that it taught me the difficulty of making two pieces that look the same on the lathe. There is no doubt that this is far easier to achieve when doing flatwork woodworking compared to wood turning!
My second entry is a simple oak bowl measuring 9 1/2″ x 3 1/2″. I firmly believe that no matter how beautiful the grain of a piece of wood is, or how nicely it is embellished through painting, gilding, piercing, wood burning etc, the underlying form is the most important element of the piece. This bowl was a study in that form and I was pleased with the result. The bowl was turned from green wood, so it has warped. It has actually warped further since this picture was taken. The solitary bead helps to accentuate this movement subtly. The bowl feels wonderful to hold and the inward sloping rim makes picking up the bowl that much easier.
There is a funny story behind this bowl, well in retrospect it is funny. At the time I wasn’t laughing much. The bowl almost didn’t make it to the fair. After photographing it, I set it aside at the bottom of a stack of other bowls. The evening before the pieces needed to be turned in to the fair I discovered that the bowl had warped even more. The oval shape, combined with the slightly enclosed form, had now trapped a smaller maple bowl firmly inside of the oak bowl!
No amount of pulling and tugging by hand could release the maple bowl from the grasp of the oak bowl. Eventually I had to take a clamp to the oak bowl to deform it back into a circle so that I could free the maple bowl.
In the future I will be a lot more careful as to how I store my bowls!