Saturday, May 23, 2009

New turning dimensions continued....

I am excite to show off two new artistic platters. The first is the one mentioned at our previous blog. The bowl and texture pattern (on the back side) were finished on the lathe. I then carved the sunburst motif and used a dremel tool for pattern around the bowl rim. Several coats of milk paint were applied then rubbed with scotch-brite abrasive pad when dry.

Modern day milk paint originates from home-made paint made on the back porch with skim milk or buttermilk, crushed limestone and pigments found around clay pits, or chimney soot and mineral colors crushed and powdered. This original paint goes back about 6000 and more years as evidence by early cave paintings. Milk Paint is environmentally safe and non-toxic. There is a slight milky odor when it is applied, but it is completely odorless when dry. Modern day milk paint uses milk protein, lime, clay, and earth pigments such as ochre, umber, iron oxide, lampblack, etc. The lime is alkaline but becomes totally inert when mixed with the slightly acid milk. Milk paint contains no hydrocarbons or any other petroleum derivatives. It comes as a dry powder and mixed with water.

One of the unusual properties of milk paint, due to the milk protein and lime, is it interacts with the wood changing its color. To make use of this property, after applying the paint I used an abrasive pad and rubbed off some the paint to expose high points in the carved wood. My piece is maple which was very light colored and the paint left the wood a dark copper color providing a very nice contrast to the yellow paint. It gives the piece a ceramic look.

The second platter is maple painted with an acrylic paint (same technique as the platter in the last blog), thenI carved in the pattern, completing with a matte lacquer finish. I am looking forward to exploring more textures and colors as well as using these techniques on other types of turnings.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Adding new dimensions ....

Two weeks ago I took a one day platter workshop from Al Stirt, a world reknown turner from Vermont, hosted by our local club, Chesapeake Woodturners. Al is know for his unique texturing and carving methods he incorporates into his turnings creating master piece works of art. He shared with us some of techniques during our eight hour hands on course.
I just finished the first piece I started in the course. It is a 13 in diameter mahogany platter with the wide rim painted in a black acrylic paint. Then following Al's methods, I drew the pattern using a watercolor pencil (the design is a replica from one of Al's platters), then I carved it using a recipicating carving tool. It is finished with several coats of satin spray lacquer. On back of the platter I turned a series of coves to create a unique texture. For my first attempt I am really happy with the piece, and now have a new dimension to include in my future turnings.
My second Al Stirt piece, a textured square platter is still in the works. It will incorporate the use of milk paint, I am excited to see the how it turns out.. and will share the result in the near future.

Carved Mahogany
Back side - Coves for texturing