October 2009 Newsletter

Nick Arnull was our demonstrator for September and he likes to decorate his work with texturing and colouring. To show this off he spent the morning turning a “celestial bowl”. He turned the back with a nice sweeping shape with a small foot to fit his Axminster dovetail jaws. He took a lot of care with the finish because the next step was to ebonise it and any marks left in the surface would show through the black coating.
Nick’s method of ebonising is to first apply two coats of acrylic sanding sealer. To speed things up a bit he used a hair dryer between coats.
Next came the black and he used a matt black acrylic spray paint, normally used in car repair shops, that can be bought in shops such as Halfords. He gave the piece three coats of this, drying it between each coat and finally coated it with Chestnut satin finish acrylic lacquer.
The front face was turned, sanded to a fine finish and treated in the same way. The stars were formed by using a single flute countersink held in a pistol drill and dots drilled in a random pattern. This exposes the natural wood (sycamore in this case) to represent a star filled sky.
The centre bowl was turned out and then the whole face was polished by applying a couple of coats of acrylic sanding sealer followed by acrylic satin lacquer and finally an application of burnishing cream bringing the centre and the stars up to a high gloss.

The rest of Nick’s demonstration was spent on decorating, in particular showing us a sample of textures achieved with a dremel type machine, His is air driven from a very noisy compressor, and various burls. At one point he also used a dentists drill (much quieter!) to create a very fine pattern. He used a board marked out in squares to create a sampler of patterns.

Nick has a collection that he calls his coral collection and this he showed us from start to almost finished. He first turned a small hollow form with a separate lid. Next he textured it as though a wood worm had been working overtime all over the surface and then ebonised it as we saw this morning. The final finish was to carefully paint the top surface without allowing the paint to go in to the gullies which have to remain a crisp black. The lid is finally glued in place to form a very attractive pot.

A couple of notes for you.
The burls Nick uses he purchases from shesto.co.uk and the dust mask he wore is called a Dust-Be-Gone and is only available from Turners Retreat or Craft Supplies USA. And is EX-PEN-SIVE!! About £35 each.

Our next meeting is on Saturday 10th October and Joey Richardson will be our demonstrator for the day who also specialises in decorated work.

Don’t Forget If you have that special piece that we can enter at the SAW show at Mitchett on Sunday 25th October please be sure to bring it to the next meeting if you will not be attending the show your self.