Monday, April 7, 2014

My Olive Vessel is Finished!

If you have been following my three previous posts you will understand what this title means.  On the other hand, if this is your first contact with posts about Olive Vessels it may sound confusing.  Not to worry; you can go back and scan those previous posts first or forge ahead with me on this concluding edition.  In keeping with the characteristics of my "empty/promise" series, this vessel was built around an empty Olive Jar.  Now that the piece is finished the jar reference has been dropped from the title.

There are two important aspects of this art work, illustrated in the documentation of my progress toward the promise of a credible piece.  First was the emphasis on developing a sketch or plan of how you wanted to create this piece.  Work it out on paper before involving tools and materials.  

As you move forward with the creation it may become clear that changes are needed.  This is the second aspect I want to emphasize.  You are not locked into the original plan if you see an alteration that improves the design or is a positive change to construction processes.  So start with your best concept of the plan, but don't stick to it stubbornly if a change here or there would be an improvement.  I think the addition of an extended neck on my Olive Vessel, not in the original plan, is an improvement.  The question now rests with the viewer;  Has this empty olive jar been transformed into a promising vessel? 

Olive Vessel Details
Size:  7 1/2 inches high, 4 1/2 inches diameter
Material:  Red wood base and ring at neck, olive 
wood vertical strips in center, green cast resin 
between strips and as top extension of neck,
garnets set in pockets in olive strips.
Finish:  Clear resin over garnets, Oil finish on 
wood, paste wax on entire piece.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Project Pressure

There is nothing like a deadline to get me back on the job, the job I was describing to you a month ago. What happened you may ask?  I got caught up in publishing details of my autobiography that were resolved today and I'll give more details about that in another post.

Now back to the olive jar vessel and pressure.  I have felt a need to finish up this project after laying it out for you but now there is increased pressure to get a finished olive jar vessel to presented to my step daughter on her birthday in two weeks.  She has been a fan of my work and while visiting the other day expressed  interest in this particular piece.  So you see where the desire to get it finished is coming from.

As I worked on the piece this afternoon I decided it needed a cast resin extension on top.  Whoa!  That's adding to the pressure. Like the little steam locomotive in the children book, "I think I can . . I think I can . . I know I can . ., so I'll give it a try and hopefully, I'll have a photo to show you of the finished piece in two weeks.  Isn't it interesting how things change?  You just have to stay flexible.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Back To Work

Last year  I posted about a vessel I planned to make using an olive jar as my center container. I am finally  back to work on  that idea and will show you how it is progressing.   You may want to refer back to the sketch in that Nov. 23rd post.

I chose one of my jars that had previously been wrapped in fiberglass cloth.  As indicated on my plan, olive wood strips were cut to adhere, vertically on the straight sides of this jar.  First, a wood top and bottom were turned on the lathe and attached.  The wood strips were an interrupted random pattern around the jar leaving pockets for a decorative stone to be set. I am using garnets that I collected in a Southern Idaho surface mining area. They will be set in each pocket with colored resin and then covered with clear resin.  The pockets were formed by placing a ball of sculpture wax in the spaces between segments of an olive wood strip to hold out resin coating.  The project is shown below as the coating with colored resin begins.


I chose green as the color for the resin fill.  I thought it would go well with the two woods and the dark purple of the garnets.  You can see how the sculpture wax is located to hold resin from filling the space designated for the garnets.  This next photo shows the resin fill completed.

Another photo shows where I am now, after removing the excess resin  coating.  I used an angle grinder with a sanding flap wheel to do the rough removal.  The rest of the surface will be finished by hand sanding. I took a chance and developed the olive wood into an undulating surface rather than a straight, smooth design between the  base and top wood.  The garnet pockets are recessed slightly and the variation in the surface creates more interest than a conventional smooth surface.  You'll have to be the judge on how this change appeals to you.  I'll post the final finished product when all sanding is completed and the finish applied.