Turning Archive 2004

Re: wall thickness(long)
Response To:
wall thickness ()

Bob Hackett
>The answer is,the wall thickness should be consistant and appropriate to the form.
Thin walls will impress other turners but seem to scare off buyers.Most customers tell me that a light bowl seems too fragile to use.There is also the impression that more mass(where appropriate)means more value.
Some of the burl pieces I turn that have alot of voids need a thicker wall(3/8+) in order to stay together.The form on these pieces are mostly squat and look visually heavy and massive
Afew of the pieces with insect holes that are otherwise sound I turn to 1/16th or less so the holes will be pierced thru.These forms are uplifted and look like they can float away.
In each case the wall thickness/weight of the piece is appropriate to the visual impact of the piece.

I finish turned a piece of birdseye maple recently that had some large eyes and excellent curl thru it.It also had two bark inclusions running parallel to the grain.This rough (with 3 inch thick walls due to the inclusions) was soaked with CA at the bark and had sat on the shelf for 6+ years before I felt it has time to return it to the lathe.Thinking the glue would hold it I turned a short,squat closed form and was originally going to hollow to about 1/4 thick wall.
When I began to work on the inside I noticed the eyes looked like bubbles rising thru water in the side grain.If I hollowed as I had planned I would lose that figure.The piece ended up having 2"+ wall thickness and was VERY heavy both visually and weight wise(they don`t call it rock maple for nothing).It was a first for me and I figured if it didn`t sell at the gallery I could always just hollow it and sacrifice the figure I was so fond of.It lasted 3 days at almost twice the price of my utility bowls.
Just when you think you`ve got it all figured out,along comes another curve you never saw coming.


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