Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Another Satisfied Customer

I often get e-mails from customers telling me how pleased they are with the piece of my work that has just arrived in the mail. But this is the first time it has been done publicly on a blog.

Wayne Hurlbert, who is the author of Blog Business World, got his spurtle just in time for Easter.

Wayne, I am delighted that your Mom is so pleased with her easter gift. But do please encourage her to make good use of it! These spurtles are functional tools, and as attractive as they may be, I don't make them as works of art.

Most of us live today surrounded by mass-produced wares created by machines and anonymous workers. My hope is that the cook using one of my spurtles takes some pleasure from the fact that they are using a tool which was handcrafted by someone they know a little bit about. Just as in days gone by, before the industrial revolution, when many of the artifacts in daily use were made by a local craftsman.

One of the purposes of this blog is to help customers get to know me better, and to learn a little about the craft of woodturning. I hope it will add to their enjoyment of my creations.

Finally dear reader, do take a look at Wayne's Blog Business World. It is always a good read and full of information about the world of blogging, for both bloggers and blog readers alike.

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Cover Story

Cover of Atlantic ConnectionsThat's me on the cover of Atlantic Connection, Industry Canada's Atlantic newsletter. The cover story in the premier edition no less!

The story is about how my website got started thanks to the Community Access Program (C@P) . I am delighted to have been part of the River John C@P committee since it's inception, and I am pleased to report that it has gone from strength to strength. Apart from being the catalyst for building a new library in the village, it has created numerous jobs for trainers, researchers and web-designers. Our projects for this year include digitizing local cemetery records, creating a multi-media CD to help promote the village, and pursuing options for bringing broadband internet service to our rural area.

One added bonus for being on the front cover of a Canadian Government publication is that I also get to be on the back cover in French:

Virage payant
Derek Andrews 'Netpreneur' à son studio de bois tourné à River John (Nouvelle-Écosse).

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Working with green wood

This past week I have been working with some 'green' yellow birch. When woodturners use the term 'green' they are referring to wood which has been recently cut and is not yet dry.

In this instance the wood was cut last summer and delivered to me as short logs. The ends had been sealed with a wax emulsion. This slows down the drying process and minimizes cracking. Even so, because it has taken me all this time to get around to doing anything with it, there were some checks in the end of each log. Fortunately they hadn't gone too deep, and there wasn't too much waste.

I have just finished turning what I call a 'green' bowl. It was turned from start to finish while the wood is still damp, and will now be left to dry slowly. By leaving the walls of the bowl thin they will distort as the wood dries, rather than crack. That's the theory anyway, but one can never be too sure. I have now wrapped the bowl up in newsprint, and will leave it to dry slowly for a few weeks before removing the paper. When finished, it will not be perfectly round, but will have gone slightly oval and the rim will not be flat. Neither will the bottom of the bowl, so I will remount it on the lathe and trim the bottom so it will sit properly on your table.

One of the beauties of working with green wood is the lovely long wide shavings that stream effortlessly off of the chisel. This picture shows some ofthe shavings I picked up from the workshop floor today. Once dry, these shavings make great kindling for the wood stove.

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Sunday, March 13, 2005

The ancient craft of chair making

Woodturning doesn't seem to get blogged very often, so I was delighted to see this article by Christopher Proudlove in
WriteAntiques: The best seats in the house.

Whilst the bodgers of High Wycombe are well known in today's turning circles, I wasn't aware that this general method of chair construction has it's roots in the craft of wheelwrighting. Thank you Christopher for this fine article.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Creators Outlet

I have just opened a new store at Creators Outlet.

Normally I don't think too much of third party art gallerys, but Creators Outlet offers an affordable deal which I felt was worth giving a try. The site has a nice clean look, and features many other talented artists and designer-craftspeople, so if you have a moment why not take a look right now?