Re: What to do with finished work *PIC*

John K Jordan
>>>What do you do?

Good question! I know others with the same problem - one guy's house had every horizontal surface covered, added shelves covered, and the walls mostly covered. He wife was about to give HIM away!

I keep enough things to show others including students to give them ideas, to remind me of shapes, a few things I really like, and one thing I spent about 100 hours on. I also keep some things from other turners. Most of this is in a display cabinet in my shop except for a very few things in the house, mostly things we use such as platters.

I give away almost everything I make. There have been enough weddings, birthdays, and Christmases to make this work. (If you wrap it and give it they can hardly argue with you!)

Other great places to give turnings are assisted living homes, elderly and lonely people living alone, churches, personal doctors, dentists. Bowls and small platters sized for candy, envelopes, little toys for children's trinkets are best.

One thing about gifts: people rarely have room in their houses or apartments for big things to display, especially if they already have a big thing or two on display. In my own house I kept two platters, one about 20" and one smaller. We use the 14" platter often but have only used the 20" once or twice - it's just too big for most things.

Some examples (sorry, I'm addicted to photos):

I make smaller "squarish" dished platters that are far more useful for us. These are 8-10" across and make (apparently) highly appreciated wedding and housewarming gifts. I took this one to Italy and gave it to the family who invited us and gave us a private tour of the northern part of the country (the wood is from Ellis):

(I gave a similar one made from walnut burl to the grandmother.)

I've had people try to buy these but they are easy enough to make and the wood I use is easy to get so I give them away.

I sometimes make smaller things and offer them in a little game at extended family Christmas times. Things like hand mirrors, ring keepers, lidded boxes, salt and pepper grinders, Christmas ornaments, and more are always the targets of lively competition.

Conductor's batons make good presents for band directors. Gavels are good presents for clubs and your favorite judge!

I have made hundreds of small finger tops, popular with big people and other children. I've sent 50 at a time with a missionary who used them in a program at a Romanian orphanage. The kids in my kindergarten class get one each year. I carry a pocket full when traveling and have met and conversed with many interesting people - I've given them to shop keepers, woodworkers, B&B keepers, children, etc. I've met new friends that way, some pen pals, and have visited some on return trips.

Many people make Christmas ornaments to sell for charities. Our turning club brought in around $4000 the last few years to benefit the local Children's hospital. Other clubs have similar programs.

I (and many others) make Beads of Courage boxes to give to the programs that give them to seriously ill children, mostly cancer patients. This is a great way to use your talents. (http://www.woodturner.org/?page=2015Charitable)

I didn't see where you said but if you primarily make larger bowls and form for display, you might consider branching out into smaller and sometimes functional things. Some need different skills than bowl-turning but those are well worth acquiring. Smaller things have other advantages too: the wood goes further, even expensive exotics are affordable in small pieces, more species can be stored in the same space, far safer - no danger if one comes off the lathe, healthier without clouds of sanding dust, quicker to turn, less time cleaning up knee-high piles of shavings - since you can often make more smaller things you can make more people happy!

I rarely make things to sell, only magic wands and another similar spindle turning. However, some people make things just for sale and some apparently sell most of them and have to rush to make more for the next show!

BTW, the magic wands make wonderful gifts too. Lots of adults like them; I've even given some to well-known woodturners.


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