What Should I Do?

There are so many options with these things, that it’s hard to know which way to go.

I have a piece of maple burl that I’ve cut so that it’ll fit into a poly jar that I can pour resin into without it leaking all over my countertop.

I have choices, and I’d appreciate your ideas or input.

When I did the “memories of ice crown” bog oak egg-thing, I did one pour of a distinctive color as a base, so I could tell where the bottom of the wood was going to be and aim my chisel there (also avoiding the screws holding the base to the chuck plate). I’ll do that here, but it could be clear or neutral color. So now we need to decide what goes over top of that, and up around the sides and surface of the wood.

I like the valley down the middle, it looks like some weird landscape from fractal-land. To bring that out it seems like I should pour a thin layer of color all over the thing (maybe) and then a thickened layer to run down the “valley.” The ice crown egg was done with white/pearl that I poured thinly all over, then added a small second pour of resin that was 90% cured so it didn’t flow so much. When you pour uncured resin on an object it thins and thins until you wind up with something that is basically translucent.

Then I have to think about the atmospheric layers. The ice crown egg had a clear atmospheric layer and a blue layer, which I poured and (slightly) mixed when the clear layer was 50% cured. I am thinking of doing that here, too.

Remember that, no matter what happens with the resin, the wood is going to have that creamy color in the final edges where the chisel exposes it. The top will hold the pigmented resin but the bottom will be that creamy wood color.

My thinking is to make it look like Dune, which has been done before, I admit. To do that, I’d do a thin layer of slightly red perhaps with pearl, then let that thin out and cure before adding a spot layer of darker reds to run down the valleys. Then a clear atmospheric layer that’s about 1/2 of the rest of the space, and a red-tinted atmospheric layer atop that, loosely stirred into the clear.

But there is so much potential for madness. I could blacken the wood and pour bright red resin to run down it. I could swirl the “sky” with holographic flake. I could try to make a thin atmospheric layer, swirl a teeny tiny itty bitty bit of pearl into it so it looks like desert winds, and then do a clear atmospheric layer followed by a colored one. I could just pour the whole thing with clear and otherwise leave it alone. Or I could pour a clear atmosphere layer and try to make a “whirlwind” by swirling a tiny amount of some other color into it when it’s half cured.

As far as shape, I can do roundish or egg-shaped or cylindrical – that’s all pretty easy.

What do you think? Just please bear in mind that there’s always a lot of change that occurs when even the best-laid plans encounter reality.

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I keep thinking how fun it would be to take a piece of wood like this and turn a big recess in the bottom so I could run a chain of fairy lights/seed LEDs up and through holes in the surface. But, wood turners generally don’t do that. Why not? Well, there’s the problem that the lathe would shred the wires instantly. I’d need to build a sort of base-bottom with a well that I could seal the LED chain up in, then turn it carefully so as not to compromise the base, and then attach a separately-turned presentation base that contained more wires and a power switch. That’s not totally implausible, since I could cut the base-bottom recess on the Bridgeport mill – it’s just “another thing that can go wrong” and pretty bigly at that.

I also have a few more board-ends of bog oak like the one I did the ice crown egg with. Should I post some pictures of those?


  1. Jazzlet says

    That wood is a complicated landscape so I’d be inclined not to mess around too much with the resin. I think Dune like makes sense with the colour, I’m assuming at this point that the wood represents rock rather than sand so I wouldn’t go for anything like a whirlwind, but I would go for some nacreous dust in the atmosphere with some pooling in the valleys and other dips. And yes rust accents in the valleys and atmosphere.

    On the other hand you could take the line that the sides of the wood represent the colour of the unweathered rock at which point you have no limitations as to what you do with the top, not so helpful ;-)

  2. kestrel says

    The valley makes me think of glaciers but that’s just me… I’d probably be thinking of glacial colors: blues and purples and greens, with maybe a bit of dark green on the “peaks” for a forest, and a cold swirly sky – clear against the mountains and snow, and the grey/blue/black swirly storm clouds bringing in more snow.

    I like the Dune idea too. That would also be really beautiful. If you had a really tiny sand worm head you could put that in there, emerging from the sand. A basically clear sky with a “sand storm” swirled into it might be cool. Maybe you could even make it look like banners of sand are blowing across the top of the “drifts”.

    Round seems like a good shape to me – a sort of crystal ball thing, where you can check up on that sand worm and see where he’s gotten to. The round shape will also tend to make everything look like it’s magnified.

  3. voyager says

    I like the dragon’s egg shape of your last piece. The landscape of the burled maple is damned interesting but it does need a bit of colour to accent the peaks and valleys. If you’re going for Dune, I think Jazzlet’s suggestions are perfect. I’d like to see a sun or moon or two in the sky.
    I could also see this as a volcanic landscape done with bright oranges, yellows and reds in the valleys with steam rising up in a swirl.
    I also see a polar bear, a seal and possibly a narwhale, so I could see this as an icy landscape in blues and white. That might require some detailed painting prior to resin pour.
    Whatever you decide will be interesting. I think you should post photos of all the interesting things that you make.

  4. says

    That is such a beautiful piece of wood, it almost seems a shame to hide it or to try and embellish it in some way. I think it will be beautiful even if simply encased in clear resin ball.
    Or (brainstorming here, I have zero knowledge about resin art) perhaps to dye the wood darker (with a leahter dye) or dry-brush it with green and then, pour very thin turquoise/blue layer in the valleys, clear resin on top of that and then some cloudy white on top of that. It would look (maybe) like an archipelago. I have seen youtube video where the artist added a cloudy/watery texture to colored resin by mixing a bit of rubbing alcohol in it (-click-)

  5. says

    Or I could pour a clear atmosphere layer and try to make a “whirlwind” by swirling a tiny amount of some other color into it when it’s half cured.

    That was my idea as well. The interesting thing about that technique is that it works vertically, while pouring different layers works horizontally.

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