This is Veronica
This is Veronica's Jewelry Tree
PLENTY of Parts (and seven parts aren't shown)
Veronica's Jewelry Tree, unlike most of what I turn, was done, as its name indicates, for a specific person - son Chas's girlfriend Veronica.
Veronica is a writer. I wanted this piece to not only serve a useful purpose - making rings, earrings, neckalces and small bracelets easily accessible - easy to see - and get to - but to also have some meaning unique to her.
So - on the practical side, the design cirteria were:
- small footprint - dresser top surface area being somewhat precious
- enough places for rings, earrings, necklaces and small bracelets
- easy accessability to everything
- stability (something with a lot of things hanging on it SHOULD NOT fall over!)
The personalized part I'll get to shortly.
So here's the finished Jewelry Tree - rings on the pegs around the base, short earrings on the lowest "spoked wheel", longer hanging earrings on the middle spoked wheel and necklaces and small bracelets on the top spoked wheel. Each wheel can rotate so the piece doesn't have to be turned to get to anything - except maybe a ring. Each "spoke" has "notches" to keep things separated, disguised as grooves and beads and coves - visually more interesting than simple round spokes with just grooves turned in them. Analogous to the difference between how the average person writes and how a writer writes. While the ideas trying to be conveyed may be the same, the writer constructs sentences more carefully, picking just the right words put together in just the right way in order to convey more than Just The Facts.
The three "wheels" have "hubs" which, while similar, are different, both in color (purple heart at the top, yellowheart in the middle and padouk on the bottom) as well as slightly different shapes. The "spokes" are also different between sets and even different within sets - by intent. Writers start with an idea, write a page or two and then go back and revise things , sometimes changing a single word, or reworking a sentence or paragraph, changing the punctuation to improve the flow of things, trying variations to get the words, sentence(s), paragraphs and pages "just so".
And speaking of Punctuation - I included a stylized Exclamation Point (actually there are two) as "ring pegs" at the base. The exclamation point, for a writer, is typcially reserved for terminating a sentence that warrants an exclamation point, not something to be thrown around thoughtlessly (like teenagers, especially teen age girls are proned to do. OMG!!!!!!). You'll note that the blackwood used for these pegs has subtle contrasting grain which create an interesting pattern your eye catches, even if you don't notice it consciously. Writers do that sort of thing too - at least the good ones do. Had I oiled the blackwood, or used a shellac or lacquer finish, that subtle contrast would have been lost - again - something a writer may appreciate.
Now about that egg on top - turning an egg - that actually looks egg shaped - is NOT as easy as it may seem. Get the proportions wrong or blend the curves poorly and it will just look WRONG. There's no place to hide an interruption of the curves with a bead, groove or cove. If it ain't right it's obvious that it ain't right, even if you can't put your finger on just why it ain't right. It's like that for writers - things have to flow well - or they read "not quite right but I don't exactly know why".
Like any creative endeavor, for writers, it's Hatching The Plot that's the beginning of the process - and often the hardest part. So the Egg represents The Next Idea for a written piece - sitting on top just waiting to hatch.
My hope with this piece is that it will become part of Veronica's life, something that serves its purpose well and with meanings that are unique to her.
This was probably the most challenging piece I've turned to date, both in time spent making it as well as the serenditous thought that went into it. In some ways it was good that I had a deadline for it. There are so many variations and possibilities with this idea - I could have spent a month overthinking it and coming up with all sorts of variations - some that might actually work - and some that wouldn't.
Fun this turning thing - especially when turning a special piece for a special person.
PS - I finished this piece at 2:30 AM - on Christmas morning. Being a Santa's Elf means ignoring the clock - but the compensation makes it worth it.
PSS - she likes this piece and has begun populating the "spokes" already. In a small way, I hope it conveys how I value her relationship with Chas - and serves to foster our relationship some more,