It’s an act of hopefulness to make art; the artist is implicitly hoping that something of their creation will survive even if it’s only in memory. When I’m feeling stressed or at loose ends, I try to create something, even if it’s just for myself. I guess it helps cement my existence, to myself.

You can’t be inattentive when working with a lathe or a forge or a grinder – you can lose a finger or an eye, or worse – and you can wreck your work. But you don’t need all of your mind to create once you’re practiced at what you’re doing. To me, the act of making things becomes a sort of meditation: I disappear and for a while I’m just a fragment of intent trying to mold and shape things around me.

It also implies hopefulness, when I see something and think “I can do something with that!”

That’s a piece of oak root-mass, cut horizontally. The grain in the wood is exquisite and the wood itself is complicated and fascinating.

I see a spot I need to take down a bit more with Mr Happy Dancing Bandsaw, but that’s the way it’s looking now. It turns out that the top of a poly plastic bucket was just the right size, so I sawed off the bottom (I’ll use that for another bowl of some other material some other day) and now it’s ready for resin. I’m out of resin right now but I expect more will appear through the magic of UPS and ebay.

I’ve been slowly figuring out the right temperature and pour sequence to get cool effects in wood/resin. Part of me is screaming “you should be working on setting up the shed!” but I don’t have the energy for that, I’m too captivated by the news-cycle and maintaining my blog here.

I’m thinking of this piece a “misty hills” because it sort of reminds me of the hills behind Palo Alto, when you come into SFO in the morning and the fog is blowing through. But it could be any misty hill.

The wood is at a weird angle because I was impatient and didn’t let the bottom pour cure long enough, so the wood floated up.

One thing I learned doing pieces like this is that you have to stop frequently and see how the exterior appears. If I had cut down much deeper, I’d have completely lost this spot where the resin meets the wood.

It needs some more polishing and finishing but I think it’s looking like a bowl!

Normally, one would want to turn wood pretty thin, but my observation is that the transition-spots between the wood and the resin look pretty cool, edge-on, so it doesn’t pay to make the wood too thin. A few more coats of clear drying oil and the surface will pop.

I have been having a great time making bowls. These are very satisfying: heavy and smooth, and visually complicated. I can sit and stare into the clouds, and get lost for a while.

It’s hard to post interesting pictures of resin being poured into a bucket, so I probably won’t post any more of the shattered oak piece until I turn it.

Also on my shelf at the shop are two more pieces cut from Ant Log, which I am thinking of as “Son of Ant Log” and “The Revenge of Ant Log” – I need more resin and then I will set them up and give them a spin.


  1. kestrel says

    This is an amazing bowl. It’s really beautiful, and yes, you can just get lost staring at it. I think the oak root mass one is going to be amazing too – I love how the wood is sort of open in places. The whole idea of wood blended with resin is exciting, and the results are really super cool.

    For me, I *think* too much sometimes when I’m doing something. I need to really sink into it, and just become the hands holding the brush or something Zen like that. It is hard to get into the “zone” with current events.

  2. says

    These look beautiful.
    I do not have a lathe for such big stuff (yet) but when I was buying my cheapo vacuum pump I did order some pouring resin suitable for direct contact with food for future too..

  3. Jazzlet says

    Are you sure that is mist and not the breath of tiny resting dragons?

    You are getting some gorgeous effects, the resin over the wood, the boundaries, the resin alone, the wood alone. Really lovely stuff, I look forward to what you do with the oak root as well as ”Son of Ant Log” and ”Revenge of Ant Log”.

    Part of pacing and being kind to yourself is knowing when a job is too big, and so doing a smaller job instead so you have still achieved something.

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