Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Fall 2008 markets

I have a quite heavy schedule this fall season for your Christmas shopping pleasure. I have three venues in Nova Scotia, and one in New Brunswick - Antigonish Farmers' Market, Moncton Market, Festive Craft Market (NSAC Truro), Sunnyside Mall Craft Market (Bedford).

October 11 - Antigonish
October 18 - Moncton
October 25 - Antigonish
November 1 - Moncton
November 2 - Sunnyside Mall
November 8 - Antigonish
November 9 - Sunnyside Mall
November 15/16 - Truro
November 22 - Antigonish
November 23 - Sunnyside Mall
November 29 - Moncton
November 30 - Sunnyside Mall
December 6 - Antigonish
December 7 - Sunnyside Mall
December 13 - Moncton
December 14 - Sunnyside Mall
December 20 - Antigonish
December 21 - Sunnyside Mall

Friday, June 13, 2008

Market schedule

Here is my schedule for the markets I will be at for the next eight weeks:

June 14 - Moncton
June 21 - Antigonish
June 28 - Antigonish
July 5 - Moncton
July 12 - Antigonish
July 19 - Moncton
July 26 - Moncton
August 2 - Antigonish

Moncton Market is open from 7am to 2pm, and Antigonish Farmer's Market from 8am to noon. After August, the plan is that I will be rotating alternate weekends. I have teamed up with Mary from Fibrepalooza so that between us, we can commit to take a space at these markets on a regular basis. This makes it easier for the market managers to assign a permanent spot for us, while we get to go to different locations.

Pictou Weekend Market opens for the summer on 21 June and you can visit my booth there on Saturday and Sunday from 10am till 5pm.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

An audio-visual presentation

I just love free stuff online. Don't you? Here is a neat little service that made it easy for me to create an audio-visual presentation of some of my work. Enjoy!

The service is called Animoto, and the music is Coquetry by McKenzie Stubbert.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The latest crop of dibbers

Many people believe that I spend hours working at the lathe, but the reality is that woodturning is more like gardening. Here is the latest crop of garden dibbers emerging from a bin full of wood shavings.

I'm just about to go and harvest this crop and treat them with linseed oil, then they will be ready to go to market.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

May markets

This coming Saturday (May 17, 2008) I will be at Moncton Market again, and the weekend after is the opening of Antigonish Farmer's Market, so I hope to be there for that.

I'm not sure how the rest of the year is going to pan out. Ideally I would like to be at Antigonish every other weekend, then alternate between Moncton and Tatamagouche on the other weekends. This takes a fair bit of co-operation on the part of the market managers, and although they always do their best to accommodate my requests, I will have to wait and see how things work out.

I also hope to get the studio open at Seafoam this weekend. It's a bit of a mess at the moment, cluttered with product packed in boxes ready to go to the market, and boxes of part finished salad bowls. Still, I hope to find space for it all somewhere very soon, and can clean the gallery and put some work on the shelves.

See you soon I hope!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tatamagouche Farmer's Market

Last weekend's gig in Moncton was a great success and I hope to be back there again soon. This coming weekend I am staying closer to home and going to Tatamagouche Farmer's Market on Saturday. It is open from 8am - 12pm at Creamery Square. See you there!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Moncton Market

This Saturday, 19 April 2008, I am setting up my booth at Moncton Market, my first ever show in New Brunswick. Parlez vous Englais, sil vous plait!

It seems to be a very busy place, and I look forward to making lots of new acquaintances there. The hours are 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. so it's going to be an early start for me, considering that it is a two hour drive. Please excuse me if I'm a bit bleary eyed if you drop by to see me.

The market is the L-shaped red-roofed building in the middle of this map.

View Larger Map

See you on Saturday!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Carving bowl rims

One of the most common questions I get asked about my kitchen-safe bowls is how I make the decoration around the rim. Many think I use a machine, and woodworkers sometimes think I use a chatter tool.

Neither are correct. I use a traditional woodcarving gouge, which when properly sharpened will cut nicely through hardwoods like maple and yellow birch. Normally I have the bowl mounted on the lathe with its outside surface facing me. But the three big bowls that I mentioned earlier today were only ever mounted the other way round, meaning that I had to work from behind the lathe. The easiest way I found to do this is to perch myself on top of the lathe. I felt somewhat like a gargoyle up there, but it gets the job done quite comfortably.

Bowling along

Cyndi left a comment on my last post asking for an update on progress with all those bowls that I am working on. I 'm pleased to say that I have been busy, too busy to blog apparently, and they have now all made it through step two of the process. They have now all had the outside of the bowl turned, sanded and the decoration carved around the rim. Here they are, stacked in boxes in my gallery, the only space I seem to have available at the moment:-

As you can see, there is quite a range of sizes here, from 4" to 17" diameters. So whether you want a bowl to snack on peanuts while you watch tv, or a salad bowl for a big dinner party, I expect to have something soon that will suit your needs.

You have probably noticed that the very small bowls and the two large bowls in the picture above have had their inner surface turned and sanded too, which is the third step in the process. I did all the small bowls one day when I had the lathe set up for another job (a fridge door handle shaped like a rolling pin!) and while the chuck had a small set of jaws installed, I decided to go ahead and turn all the bowls that would need that setup. You see, I like spending my time turning wood, not fiddling with machinery.

The three big bowls had to be dealt with slightly differently in that they were big enough for me to screw them to a faceplate, skipping step one, and doing steps two and three at the same time. Here is the last of the of the big bowls which is on the lathe at the moment, ready for final sanding and carving the rim decoration. It is a whopping 17" diameter and 5" deep, one of the biggest bowls I ever made.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Death row at Seafoam

This month I have been doing little else but turn bowls. I had accumulated over one hundred roughed out bowl blanks and they were beginning to swamp my storage space, so I thought it would be a good idea to take advantage of this quiet time of year to get them turned into finished bowls.

Unfortunately they didn't all make the grade. A couple had split while drying; possibly I had left them too thick, and they weren't able to warp as they dried, and the stress caused them to split apart. Another was an error on my part and the bottom of the bowl was too thin - so thin in fact that it was translucent. So these three bowls ended up on death row:

It is a shame that these bowls didn't make the grade, and I hate to destroy them, but when you consider the total number of bowls that I am working on, I don't consider it a bad loss rate. Some woodturners might salvage these bowls by filling the cracks with epoxy and decorative materials, but most of my customers are looking for practical bowls that can be washed in the sink and will last a lifetime, so I use robust materials and only permit minor defects in the wood.

That is the pile of bowls which I am working on. They have been roughed out and left to dry, and then go back on the lathe four times before they are finished. In the picture above they have all had the first step completed. I have turned a recess on the inside of each bowl's rim. This will allow me to grip the bowl securely in a chuck so that I can shape the outside of the bowl.

I am working on these bowls step by step, putting all of them through step one before moving on to step two. This makes for more efficient working, since each step requires a different set up of the chuck, and a lot of time can be wasted changing the jaws, so while I have it set for one job, that is all I will do, even if it does take a week or more to get through them.