Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Year 16, Week 10, Day One (week 844)

Year 16, Week 10, Day One (week 844)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-19-16 Saturday

Temps were in the 70s, with really high milk clouds most of the day. A breeze that tugged lightly on hats and blew light things over. In the afternoon, it was 79 in the afternoon and a string of showers from an approaching front came by. A bit later we had sunshine for a while with more showers expected later. This weather report was brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism. 


The turning club meeting had a demonstration on creating a bowl with leaves on it. The spaces between the leaves were removed through piercing and then they received a little detail. 
He had gone to the craft store and picked up a stenciling pack of clear plastic stensils that had four kinds of leaves of various sizes on it. He was working with Maple leaves for his project this time.
He would trace the leaves, including the veins, on the vase or bowl. He would always make sure there were three points of contact. Otherwise the leaves could break off easily. If there was some overlap between leaves, so much better.  He marked the spaces that needed to be removed as after a while, it can become quite confusing.
He suggested that you leave a rim around the top of the vase for strength, but on the one he was demonstrating, he removed it so the rim was the tips of the leaves with gaps between. 
He said that for large spaces such as at the removed rim, rather than slicing off a large chunk, one should remove tiny chunks each time, so there is no binding on the tool (which can do damage) or breakage of material you did not want to break.  He said it is best to turn the work thicker than a sixteenth of an inch thick, tending closer to an eighth of an inch or even thicker. With thinner wood, the for the veins can easily go through if it.  
I forgot to mention that most of the turners use dental drills for this piercing. They run (I seem to remember 3000 rpm)  a whole lot faster than a dremmel can run . His machine though, was much faster. The number I thought I heard was 36,000 rpm. It essentially burns the wood away because it is spinning so fast. It leaves the wood edges blackened which is a nice effect. He pointed out that if the charcoal of burnt wood comes off, just use a marker to blacken the edge again.
He then showed how to an add (alcohol based) dye to the wood to accentuate the leaves, sometimes shading them on different sides. He sometimes colors the inside of the bowl to make the leaves stand out. The bowl he was demonstrating with was black inside. 
If the wood is interesting, he will leave the wood below his leaves showing. If it is rather plain wood, he would add dyes to it to sort of hide the wood and make the leaves stand out.


The concert I went to last night was three hours long so I was not at my best when I got up. I was refreshed and ready for the day after we finished breakfast. Even so, if I was doing the driving for yard sale search, I would have taken a short nap first, just to be extra safe. Mom was driving, so yard sailing was on as soon as we got home from breakfast and got turned around.
The weather report was questionable for the day, but it definitely did not look questionable. People had their sales out. 
We intended to go in a different direction, but we saw signs for a big yard sale and headed to find it. We could not find the yard even though we were sure we passed the house. They may have decided not to set up or were late starters. Sometimes people put up their signs at night and then set up in the morning, and/or decide not to do the yard sale and forget about their signs.  We hear that people show up at yard sales when the owners start setting up at five in the morning. Some people, especially collectors, try to get to a yard sale as early as possible to have the best selection of goods. Many times we get to a yard sale and they say they sold most of their stuff already.  
Since we were heading North, we came through the Deerfield / LightHouse Point section from the North rather than from the South like we planned. That actually worked out for us later.
We hit quite a few yard sales as we worked our way south. There were a lot of exercise equipment out and a few people were moving. I saw a lot of battery powered drill kits and accessories all over the place. I have some battery powered equipment and have not used them in a very long time. Mine would have to be charged before I could even think of making use of them. After we crossed the main road we live near, Mom found a yard sale that was run by some friends she has known for years, and had lost track of. That made our initial mistake work out nice as we likely would have headed North rather than South.
We did not spend much money this time, just getting bits and pieces of items that were interesting. 

At the end of the yard sailiing Mom drove over to a art show. A group of black painters, called the Highwaymen, were showing their work in a historical building we also wanted to see. The building had been relocated from the original site and now hostese small events there.
Back in the 50s and 60s, a group of black painters were not allowed to show in any galleries because they were not white. As a solution, they sold their work along side the road, mostly in central Florida. Because of an article about them in a paper, they become well known. They mostly do landscapes of Florida. If you do a search of “Highwaymen Paintings”, you will see web sites of a couple of the artists and see the kinds of pictures they like to paint. 
It happens that one of them is going to teach at a painting seminar Mom is going to. She wanted to talk to him about the classes. 
This historic  house is two story with really high ceilings (possibly 16 feet tall). I am not supposed to do stairs, but the guy Mom wanted to see was on the second floor and I wanted to see the rest of the artists work. There were also no chairs anywhere. 
They love to paint with fan brushes, really big brushes, pallet knives. A lot of their paintings are brightly colored. There were a couple paintings I drooled over as I could sit and stare at those pictures for quite a long time. The paintings were selling. I saw several people who walked out with five or six paintings. They are not cheep either. 
I’ve painted at times in my life and I can recognize techniques. There is nothing in the paintings that is done using a complex or difficult methods. I know how the brush strokes were used to create the effect . The only problem is that I don’t have the knowledge of the absolute best place to locate the brush strokes to create work of the quality they show. There is a lot more to painting than just applying paint.
When comparing the works of many painters doing similar works and using similar techniques, one can spot quality differences in the paintings. One can also see the differences in effect between a light touch and a heavy touch has., Being an artist, I was able to spot a few mistakes. Of course, I would happy to have only those mistakes in my paintings. 
I actually learned quite a bit looking closely at the work of these artists. When you stand back, though, the differences of technique fade away. And then it is strictly composition and choice of color that makes a difference. You can see skill differences at this point too. This group loves the Royal Poinsettia and Jacaranda trees (similar in form but different colors of flowers) and it is almost a trademark of their style. 
Seeing their work almost causes me to want to make time to do some serious painting. The problem is that I don’t have the time to do the hobbies I have already. I even struggle to fit in my Christmas cards in my schedule when the season arrives.  

When we got back, I laid down and slept hard. I woke several hours later and intended to go out do something when a shower hit. A streamer of the front caught up with us. After it stopped, I went outside and the cat kidnaped me. She wanted food, but especially wanted attention. While she was eating, I rubbed her tummy and she leaned into my leg like she wanted to lay down. I picked her up, and for ten minutes, she inhaled the concentrated attention. Some large drops hit the awning and she dropped to the ground and hid. I put a few things away. By the time I went in, it was coming down pretty good. 

A couple hours later, it was nice and sunny again and only some puddles showed evidence of previous downpours.  I sorted some items from the belongings of a friend that passed a couple months ago. I was getting the kitchen items. I found the blade of my meat slicer that I had given to her to take to a blade-and-scissor sharpener for me. It never got there. 
During the week, I experimented with the meat slicer and the blade I got from the yard sale. The blade fit on both machines, but would run really rough on my frame. My motor worked on both frames all right. I cannot figure out why it runs rough when the new blade is on my machine. My old blade is definitely duller than the new one.

I will see what I do tomorrow.  

Year 16, Week 10, Day Two (week 844)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
03-20-16 Sunday

High 70s. I never looked at the temps. Spaced dots of wetness came through like a train in the early morning, a high unbroken layer of clouds lingered all day long. The wet clouds were lower. There was a strong breeze when the wetness came through, but it was somewhat calm otherwise  (The tourism officials won’t let me use the R word for the wetness. It is officially Liquid Sunshine).  Long narrow clouds zipped along across the sky here and there like a train riding on a track. This weather report was brought to you by The City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.

My brother arrived before I did. I showed him the meat slicer blade and we talked about sharpening it. I had not looked at the edge carefully before this. During the morning, I had given thought about how to sharpen it. I thought about holding the blade in the lathe (off) and bringing each edge in line with a grind stone and giving each face a few strokes. I could use something as stops to hold it in place as I worked each tooth. 
As my brother and I looked at the blade, we saw that the tops of each tooth was on an angle. To get that angle on each and every tooth at the right angle was going to be a bit more of chore than what I thought. While looking at it, he suggested (he admitted it to be a guess later) that if I worked the stone against the flat of the blade, it would remove a tiny bit of material to cause a new sharp edge to form on the blade.
The way scissors are sharpened is the blades are separated and the matching surfaces are laid flat on the stone and rubbed. The sheering edge becomes sharp again. Years ago, one guy at work tried to sharpen scissors and did it like a knife and ruined them. At that time I did not fully understand how to sharpen them either but knew his method was wrong when he started it.  This is also the way to sharpen the serrated edged knives. Lay the flat side on the stone and stroke it. Except for points that are bent up due to misuse, the blade will become sharp.
I examined the blade and saw that I could use the chuck of the lathe to hold to the gear on the back side of the blade and just hold the stone against the front side as it spun to sharpen it.
Once this blade is sharp, it will eat flesh nicely (including fingers), so I slowed the lathe to the slowest speed for control purposes. I put the blade in the jaws and then started the lathe. With care, I put the diamond stone honing plate against the blade, with half the plate a distance away from the blade itself for safety, ( and made sure my hands were far from the blade’s edge as possible.) I put more pressure on the edge of the blade than on the center. After a very short time, I stopped the lathe and checked the blade. It was sharper. I turned it back on and did it a bit more. The blade was now nicely sharp. I had never realized it was so easy to do. I could even do it on the cutting frame itself.  I have an idea of how to do each individual tooth effectively but this was so much easier.
Once I got home, I did some experimenting swapping blades between machines. On my old meat slicer, the new blade bogs it down and vibrates. My old blade works nicely on both machines. The new blade has a plastic gear attached to it. The old blade’s gear is metal. The depth of the two sets of teeth are different. I have not measured it, but I think the plastic teeth might be shallower between the teeth so the gear driving the blade is bottoming out on the old machine. The deeper teeth on my old blade makes no difference on the new machine as the spacing between the teeth are the same. This might be solved by swapping the gear that transfers motions from the motor to the blade. 
After I had put the frames away, I thought I saw that one of the machines had another hole in which to put the center gear, which might be slightly farther away. I will check that sometime when I have extra time.
It happens that I like the blade  attachment system of my old machine’s blade better than on the new one so I will stay with my old machine. Knowing I can easily sharpen the blade while it is on the machine makes it easy to maintain from now on. 

I have no idea what will happen next weekend. I will have to see.

Showing leaf drawn on vase, a few holes pierced and areas of rim to be removed.

A more complete vase showing how it is a step farther, some rim leaves exposed.

A completed leaf bowl with stained leaves. Lower part of bowl died to hide ugly wood.

Another completed leaf bowl with the raw wood showing.

Two driver bit sets

Two mouse pads I purchased from one of t he Highwaymen artists. Mouse pad on left with the Jacaranda tree is signed.. The right one with Poinsettia tree is unsigned.

My meat cutter blade in the lathe.

Showing how I held the diamond stone against the blade when I sharpened it. I had to keep my hand as far from the blade edge as I could and still do a good job of sharpening it.

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