Turning Archive 2005


John Lucas
>Mike brought up an interesting topic when he posted the 3 legged chicken. Inspiration. How do you get the inspiration for pieces? I'll post what works for me and let others post thier ideas.

I look at everything as a possibility for a project or detail in the project. If you do this you will see things everywhere. I carry a little 2x 3 notebook with me anytime I'm going to a museum or gallery and I always have one in the truck. I'll see an interesting carving, a detail on a piece or some other thing that inspires me and I'll try to draw it out in the notebook. (I can't draw so sometimes they need an interpreter later)

I also try to think about things from the past. The oil can in My Tin Man was one of those things. I was always fascinated by these when I was a kid. I saw that at the flea mkt and knew I wanted to do something with it in woodturning. I also love the Wizard of OZ. I had been playing with inside-out turning and decided to see if I could capture the oil can in an inside out turning. The tin man was formed. Imagine my surpise when the title for the kansas city show was picked and it was return to the land of oz. I already had the piece.

If you develop a lot of different skills like Mike and I have done then there are a lot more possibilities for interpreting things. However don't let that hold you back. I learned to do chatter work and found that it works best with hard woods but I don't use those much so I started experimenting with other hard things like plastic, tagua nut and bone. Then I would take these chatter work buttons and try to figure out what to do with them. I've used them as inserts in bowls, boxes, ornaments and eggs.

Back to the notebooks. I have a whole box of these things filled with notes and sketches. I'll thumb through them every now and then and an idea will just pop out. This really helps me create pieces.

What do you do?

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