The President's Challenge

The challenge is to come up with a piece that uses the first letter of each month, "A" for April, "M" for March and May. While it can be merely using a wood that starts with the letter - Ash, Maple, I find it more interesting to just start writing down words that start with the specific letter as they pop in my head then go back and see which ones might be able to be done on a lathe, or done primarily on the lathe. This approach fits nicely with my ShotGun approach to turning - blast away and you're bound to hit SOMETHING, often something interesting and different - as you will see in these photos. I like "different".

One of the reasons I like turning more than any other type of woodworking I do is that it lends itself to serendipity - things just happen.

Here's a great example of a serendipidtous progression. I started turning between centers - turning beads, coves and balls. When I got a scroll chuck I began doing some little bowls and that lead to turned lidded boxes. While doing some little tiny bowls I blew through the bottom of one - and set it down next to a remnant of some early ball turning. A light bulb went off in my head - hemispherical socket. Ball - Ball And Socket! - ARTICULATED JOINT!

Articulated Beads

Articulated Hyper Ellipsoid Box with Acer (maple) Finial and Acorn Counterbalance
(Hyper ellipsoids are inherently unstable - but only to a point - they wobble but wont's fall over. A turmed piece that has ACTUAL movement).

Start with the letter "A" . "A" - Ants, Ants - Aunts, Aunts - Uncles, Uncle - Unk, Unk - Ahnk - Ants & Ahnks!

"N" - Nail. Nail - hammer. Hammer the Nail On The Head of the nail, head - head with nail - Hit the Nail On The Head.
That's very fine spring wire connecting the hammer to the base. Touch the piece and the hammer begins swinging at the nail.
Again, actual movement to an otherwise static turned piece,

Another "start off heading THAT way and vearing off in a different direction. Was doing some multi-axis turning and one ended up looking like a dragon fly body. Dragon flies have beautiful wings - so some lacewood veneer - and some fine copper wire for their leading edges - stuck in tiny holes in the thorax. A quickly turned base,a grape fine stick - join stick to dragon fly with a piece of spring wire - hovering dragon fly about to land - or maybe just taking off.

Continuing playing with multi-axis turning - human form. Figuring out where to make cuts for a particular pair of axis lead to NUDE DUDES - The Ascent and Descent of Man. Start out smaller and sort of pudgy, get taller and "fill out" - then gravity and time take over - lowering both height and center of gravity. Switch #2 & #3 and read age from 5 back to 1.

You've seen turned wooden hats - basically turned cups with a wide thin top. So I turned a top hat - which, at the suggestion of an Alice In Wonderland pkreak, necessitated carving the Mad Hatter bust on which to place it.

Harry Potter prompted turning Magic wands for most of the kids in the neighborhood

"O" for October - and Onion

"S" is for September - and Spoons

"F" is for February - and Fruitwood Forms - One a two note Flute (drilled out the pith and produced the second "note")

"S" is for September - and Small ( and very small ) Spires / Spinnarettes

"M" - March or May - Mannequin Head - with false eye lashes