Year 16, Week 13, Day One (week 759)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
87 degrees early morning, 89 late morning, 90 in the late afternoon, 94 when the sun was shining beneath the awning. That was when I finally took my coat off as it was warm enough... Mostly blue sky with some puffs mostly around the horizon. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department Of Tourism.
The turning club meeting was educational. We have several people who demonstrate at national symposiums and conventions. There are others who are that good or better but are not that involved. One of the masters had a demonstration about what good design is. This was the third time I had been at this demonstration.
The first thing you must ask about the piece you are making is whether it is for use, or for art. If you design for use, you must make it strong and stable. It is not going to be a work of art.
On the first time he did this demonstration, he looked at my piece, which was a bowl, and asked, what it was. I said “a bowl.” He then said it was a good bowl. It was not an art piece. I was slightly bothered by that. In the years since that, I have known about design and such, but this demonstration finally helped me fully understand what he was talking about. We sometimes do things without fully understanding why. We have to be told several times, with time in between for it to sink in fully.
One thing he said was that over time, all wood, even the most colorful woods, will fade to a solid brown. If the design is bad, it won’t be worth much then, no matter how vibrant the wood was when you first made it. If the design is right, it will always look good.
One of the keys to good design is what is called the Greek Golden Mean. It is a formula where the proportions is essentially two fifths to three fifths. In just about anything, this works.
Another key is to make things in the female form. The female form is wide hips, narrow waist, wide shoulders. The male form is essentially small hips and wide shoulders.
Another key is that art pieces should have a shadow line at the bottom, the rim it sits on is set in from the bottom edge so the piece has the impression it is floating off the counter. The base should be two thirds that of the mouth, at least. Utilitarian pieces tend to have solid and large bases for stability.
One of our mentors that beginners can work with to learn wood turning, tends to make big bases, making them first and then working to the mouth. A better way is to make the mouth of the piece and then make the base smaller than the mouth. What this mentor is doing is not wrong, but just not right for every applications. It is a stylistic thing.
The people brought their own work and he used them as examples of what works as art pieces, what does not work, and what can improve them. He makes pieces with small openings as he just could never sand the wide opening pieces enough when the grain changed direction. Others only do big opening pieces. Each wood turning finds their niche where they get the most success.
He said he does a lot of shows and he can spot a wood turning within seconds. A wood turner will always put their fingers into the holes of work and feel how it is finished inside. He hates that. Non-wood turners never do that. He only sands the inside finely just a bit farther than a hand can reach. It saves him a lot of work for people who would not care.
I learned a lot but I likely explained much of what he talked about as well as needed to fully understand what he taught. It took me three times to understand it myself.
We stopped at home right after breakfast and then headed out to some yard sales. The first one was going to send the proceeds to a friend who has breast cancer. I got some paint and brushes of the kind I can use in my painting of cards and figurines. I need a couple colors and I can never remember what colors I need. These seem to fit with what I use a lot of. I picked up a few things mom wanted since I already had my wallet out.
We stopped at a Catholic Church that has two or three sales a year. It is always good as they have stuff that is really interesting. I found a rolling pin with hexigonal blades on it. I am assuming that they are for cutting pasta dough for something like Ravioli. Roll it over the dough and it cuts pieces out. I also picked up a tin of sewing stuff – thread, needles, pins, some accessories. I don’t sew very often and am not good at it, but I can see a use for these in the near future. I also picked up a couple items mom was interested in. The priest said that these sales funds their outreach program.
We found another church having a sale. The signs said this was a rummage sale and people had different booths. There might have been fifteen of them. I walked the line three times. There were stuff that I would have jumped on years ago, but I know I cannot use them, or don’t have a place for them, or already have several of them. At the first booth, which I hit last, I saw a basket with some yarns. I heard the woman mention the price to someone elsethe first time I saw it, and I walked away. The second time I walked by, I looked at it again. She also had cross stitch patterns. I refuse to get involved in cross stitch. I have to draw the line somewhere on the crafts and hobbies I could get into. The third time, the yarn leaped out and tangled me up tight. I was forced to buy them in order to force them to let go of me. They just happened to be colors I can use.
There were a few other yard sales we stopped at but they did not have anything we were interested in. One place I had visited weeks before. This was her last sale of this season and she was going to donate everything to the Salvation army, Goodwill, or some place else. I found two books that were interesting. I don’t need any more books. I got them anyway. She had some collectibles but I am not collecting.
When we got home, I sorted through the yarn. Some needed to be made into balls as they were out of control. That took a while but gave me a good idea of what I had. They were colors I like and can use. There was some scrunchy yarns and I see they are interesting, but not sure how to use them.
I then went through the sewing box, sorting things out. Lots of pins, lots of thread, lots of needles, safety pins. I have no idea how you get the threads into some of those needles. The holes are too small.... there must be a trick.
After the late evening Thursday, early morning at work Friday and not catching up on Friday night, along with all the running around, I laid down for several hours. It felt good as long as it lasted. Afterwards, we watched TV and talked.
Momma kitty does not always like to be picked up. I got her up on my lap and started petting her in the way she loves. For nearly ten minutes, I had a furry puddle of cat in my lap. I love that. So does she. We both agreed it was time for her to get down and I moved slightly and she slipped off. I petted her while she ate some before I went in. While the temps were 90+, the breeze took away the heat for the time I was out there.
Mom has a number of flowers in full bloom. I took the time to hunt down and photograph the flowers of interest.
That pretty much ended my day, other than a little crochet on a teddy bear. I started stitching the sides together when I had to pack things up.
I will have to see what will be happening tomorrow. I would like to do some wood working, but my schedule tends to get away from me.
Year 16, Week 13, Day Two (week 759)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
90 degrees, blue sky except some extremely high thin platelets and wisps over the ocean, sunny, strong wind. This weather was brought to you by the city of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
My brother was at Mom’s when I arrived. I watched him as he welded a cross brace on the rack on his truck. It took a lot of time getting the equipment out or out of the way, the project took about ten minutes, then a long time to get everything back to where they belonged.
We then went out back and talked about some engineering books he’s been reading. One of them talked about making the boilers of the big steam engines. He was telling about design problems with putting in the rivets to hold the boilers together. He later talked about some math books he’s been reading. The book he’s reading now is finally explaining things that were ever explained in all the classes he took. If I had more time to read, I would borrow his library. He has loads of books on how to do things of all kinds, They were books by people who actually did it and explained it so you could do it.
The “dinner gong” sounded and lunch was an enjoyable discussion. Of course, not long after lunch, my day was done. I needed to head home.
I have a couple loaves of bread dough in the freezer. Last night, I stuck one in the fridge to thaw. This morning, I checked one of the cook books I got recently and decided to try adding whole mixed grain to the bread dough. It was easy and it did not take too much time to do. Less kneading than if made fresh.
I let the dough rest until I got back home. There is a life-span of yeast in the freezer and this was too long. It did not rise. I baked it, even if it came out like a brickbat. It came out all right, though not light and fluffy like I wanted. It came out pretty good, though a few of the grains are a little crunchy but that is good anyway. It has good flavor. It is fun to be able to do a quick experiment.
I have one more loaf in the freezer. Some other time I will do something else as an experiment. It does not have to be simply bread.
I do hope to get some time to do some wood working next weekend.
I will see what actually happens.
What was in the basket.