Turning Archive 2004
David Hammond, in Powder Springs GA
>This post is rather long winded, so, you've been warned!
Wow... It's been almost a week since I had my first big show, but I'm still smiling to look back on the day. A quick update for those of you who don't know me: I started turning three years ago, the summer I was sixteen - I started with a Grizzly lathe, and now a relatively short time later, I'm turning on a VB36 with a huge shop and personal gallery in my back yard. That little lathe became our new company My Dad & Me, Inc. This is far more than a simply hobby now - this new business and company is something I pray can be a serious avenue for me to make a living through. Please know I don't come just to gloat - but to count my blessings! I am overwhelmed at what the Lord has done for me. This whole woodturning thing has been a big snowball, and has really evolved into a much bigger deal than I could have hoped for, in such a short time. I never realized what that three hundred dollars would come to in three years!
The whole event last Saturday was just going to be a day for some of my Dad's remodeling customers to come and see my bowls... Well, that snowball rolled on down the slippery slope of turning wood, and the event got much bigger than originally planned. This past Saturday the 17th we ended up having 169 people at our farm, had a friend come and cook barbeque for the whole crowd, had the bluegrass band I play in come and play for us, and I had my bowls displayed in a gallery my family and I built beside my shop behind our house.
We started the day with a ceremony to honor thirteen people who had helped us in various ways - some helped by supporting our remodeling business, some with this new woodturning vernture, and some people who had simple given of their own personal time to help us without expecting anything in return. I gave each person a bowl I had turned, along with much thanks for their care and support.
All told I had 57 bowls in the gallery this past weekend (that was a lot of sanding! - but I'd do it all again in a heartbeat). My whole family worked with me in setting up the gallery: we had a name, story, Scripture verse, and individual display for each bowl, or group of bowls, and this all went over really well. I had a machinest make me some brackets for displaying the bowls, and we had a two glass shelves that also housed a few bowls.
After the ceremony we broke for lunch, the gallery, and the band. It was a little hectic trying to say Hello to so many people, but the afternoon settled down and went really smoothly.
As an aside: I emailed the Marrieta Daily Journal to see if they would be interested in the event, and they were. So, they came Friday and took some pictures and put a few pictures in the paper - they're planning for an article and more pictures tomorrow. It was a lot of fun to cover the camera guy in shavings as I roughed out a bowl for him to see. :o)
At the end of the day, the first day I had ever had any of my peices for sale, I found I had sold ten peices! I was ecstatic! And really, I sold eleven, as an older gentleman and his wife came back the next day to walk through the gallery again, without all the people there, and he purchased a bowl then. Also, I had a decorator talk with me about showing a bowl she purchased to several galleries around, and about making a few bowls for some of her clients.
So, all in all, I think it was a huge success, and I'm thoroughly excited. I learned so much in planning for this show, and from the show itself. One important thing: I learned that Waterlox has to cure for longer than a week before it can be rubbed out... :o) Also, people weren't as impressed with the high, hard gloss of Waterlox straight off the lathe - the peices I left with the matte finish of simply sanding with oil were very well taken. I did sell a pretty wide variety of peices, and having "only" sold eleven peices, I can't make a lot of judgements about what is going to sell, and what is not, just yet.
The only negative to all this: we had to get back to remodeling this week. :o) I'm anxious to get back into the shop!
Thanks for listening to my ramblings, and thanks to all the support and help from WoodCentral - as Richard Raffan once said: woodturning has been very good to me. This is indeed true for me! The Lord has blessed me very much through all the people I've met in this business venture. What more incredible opportunity could I have laid in my lap than the chance to be an artist, turning wood for a living?
I'll post a few pictures of the bowls that sold - hopefully these shots will show of the bowl clear enough, but I do realize I have much to learn about lighting, etc. We shot digitals of all the bowls, as well as slides - I haven't gone through the slides in detail, but it looks as if the slides came out even better than the digitals.
My Dad & Me, Inc.
Here's the first peice I sold - it was entitled Liberty Bell, was displayed on one of the hangers I had made, along with a minature replica of the Liberty Bell, a commemorative plate of the real Liberty Bell, and a story about the real Bell's origin. The finish is about 12 coats of Waterlox, rubbed out through rottenstone, and waxed: