Here's another approach for brainstorming - Changing The Scale.

If you're a woodturner, you tend to think in terms of the scale of pieces that you're lathe can handle. I don't know if it's a Chicken Or Egg thing, but folks who start with a larger lathe - tend to turn larger stuff while folks that start with a smaller lathe tend to turn smaller stuff. While thoses with smaller lathes CAN'T turn larger stuff, those with larger lathes CAN turn smaller stuff - but seldom do.

A former member of our turning club has a BIG lathe. Coincidentally? - he never seems to turn ANYTHING that starts out less than a hundred pounds and has turned a piece that started out weighing 600 POUNDS! He turns BIG for a reason. His clients have BIG kitchens, BIG dining rooms and BIG livijng rooms - where "normal sized pieces" look too small - tiny even. Knowing Your Customer may be something to get into another time. Let's get back to Changing The Scale You're Thinking In.

For this brainstorming session let's stick with things both small and LARGE lathe owners can do on their lathe.

What we'll be doing is taking things, or elements of things that we don't normally think of as ideas for a wood turning. It can be furniture scale, architectural scale, microscopic or telescopic scale - or - maybe - jewelry scale.


Rings, earrings and bracelets come to mind - right? Turn a cylinder, drill a hole - some sanding - part it off - DONE! Where's the creativity in that?

Well - you COULD glue up contrasting pieces of wood - then turn the glue up - into a ring or bracelet. That's beginning to get creative - but not very creative.

What about turning "Ear Plugs"? No -not ear plugs to keep sound out - plugs to put in a big hole in an ear lobe - or two. You know - you've seen a kid or two with an Ear Plug - maybe one in each ear lobe.

These can be interesting to play with. Trying to come up with an interesting turning when you're making something this small - - maybe 3/4" x 3/4".

Let's play WHAT IF.

What if - we make a brooch or necklace - out of turned parts - or parts of turned parts?

These were inspired by a piece of jewelry made by Charles Pinckney - a jeweler

This one got into Levers and Pivots and Cams for some of the non-turned parts. I'm thinking of doing a piece or maybe a series that will be about a foot or so tall - free standing sculpture - with parts that can move. I've already made some parts and have been PLAYING around with them.

Notice that I said "PLAY with them" - not"WORK with them"? This is FUN to do. If it stops being fun I quit and go do something else that seems like it might be fun.

We'll see if this idea pans out in the next few days

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