Turning Archive 2005

turning the rose...way long! *PIC*

Keith Tompkins
>Seems to be some interest on how I turned the rose...so I'll do my best to explain.....

I will start with the cube....the cube is completely formed on the lathe, starting between centers. Imagine turning a cylinder, then truing up the ends. Now, draw a line as though the cylinder will be cut right down the center. Mount the piece back on the lathe using the lines as a reference. The piece now looks line a tin-can spinning, with the top and bottom of the can alternately facing you. True up the ends, and measure the dimensions to ensure they are the same as the first cuts. Rotate one more time, and true up the last remaining ends.....the result is a cube.

Now, I make a jam chuck, and refine the cube,removing the material left over from the drive centers. I leave one tenon in place, to mount the stem onto. To finish the cube, it is hollowed, and a threaded ebony insert is glued in place.

The stem is formed by first turning the "rose hip" A hole is drilled which will match a tenon that is turned on the base of the rose blossom. I temporarily plug this hole, so I can mount it back between centers. I want the rose to appear fairly realistic, so I want the blossom to tilt a bit, rather that being perpendicular. To accomplish this, I move the base off center, forming a new axis point. This will give the blossom the appearance I want. Once between centers, I true up the base, forming a tenon, then back in the chuck to finish up. The stem is formed with a "bulge" in the center, which allows me to remove the excess with the bandsaw, which gives the appearance of a twisted stem. I carve away the excess to form the root system and thorns from the garden are applied and dyed black to complete the stem....I also carve away where the blossom sits to form a "five-pointed star" shape.

Now, the rose. I turn a tiny goblet form between centers, leaving a tenon on the base. I use the tenon to hold the piece while it is hollowed. I use a detail gouge for this. A light is used for determining wall thickness, which is below 1/16".

I now sand the piece, and cut it in half, right down the center. I make a smaller goblet, with the same shape and thickness, and cut it in half also. Now, an even smaller goblet form, same process, except I remove only a small section, not half. I true up each piece on a plate glass with 400 grit wet of dry paper on it. I glue the pieces together to form a decreasing-radius spiral. The pieces must fit exactly, I am able to do these by eye, no measuring. That part I cannot explain.
I sand the rose pedal where it curves down to meet the stem...far too fragile to cut.

This piece was made as part of the "Small Treasures" exhibition at del Mano Gallery.

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