Woodturning: The Art of Making Beautiful Wood

Woodturning is possibly among the most artistic of the wood crafting family of skills. That’s not to state that traditional woodworking; or definitely wood carving is not artistic. They can, in fact, be really creative. Look at the toned lines of a Sam Maloof chair, or the stylish style of an Artisan table and wood sculpting is art by meaning. What sets woodturning apart is the standard tool of the trade, the lathe.

Woodworkers employ any of a substantial variety of power and hand tools to develop tables, chairs, bookcases, boxes, etc. The variety of tools makes the possibilities unlimited. Wood carvers use less tools but still have a relatively large selection from which to select. These can consist of chisels and mallets, handsaws, bandsaws, even chainsaws, routers, and rotary tools.

Woodturning, on the other hand, is limited to one power tool, the lathe and a choice of hand tools. The lathe is in a fixed position and simply rotates the block, or length of wood into the tool held by the woodturner. So, what’s so innovative about standing in one location with a sharp tool while the lathe does all the tough work of turning the wood? If you’ve ever seen a wood vase, or a wooden stetson in the window of a gallery you may get a hint of what makes woodturning so unique.

The majority of us see just the most fundamental of turned wood tasks in our day to day experience. We see the turned legs of a poster bed, turned spindles on the staircase, turned baseball bats at the baseball stadium. We do not think much about them because they are so ubiquitous and we figure, and appropriately so, that the majority of them are turned by automated lathes. Probably the closest we get to something more fascinating and initial is a turned salad bowl. (That’s presuming you have something besides the pressed kind you get in a restaurant.).

To get a real feel for the possibilities of creative woodturning we require to march a bit and go searching in the windows of higher end boutique and art galleries. Here we may start to see the turned candlesticks and goblets that will get us believing that there just might be something to this woodturning organisation. Woodturners often utilize pieces of wood that a woodworker would discover inappropriate. A piece of walnut burl for example that is neither long enough, nor steady sufficient to utilize in a chair, can be chucked onto a lathe and turned into a gorgeous bowl. Those splits or knots that made it unsuitable for a chair can end up being interesting aspects of an ornamental bowl that might just become a screen piece in your house.

Woodturners are forever broadening their type of art. Experienced turners are kept in mind for developing unique tools to assist them achieve unanticipated kinds. I have actually seen fragile urn shaped vases, hollow throughout and wondered how the turner could have perhaps handled to get a tool through the thin neck to hollow the larger portion of the base. To my eye, it is all but impossible and yet, there it is thin enough to allow light to leak through lighting up the natural charm of the wood.

Among our finest known woodturners, Rude Osolink was famous for his wood vases turned from domestic hardwoods. If you didn’t know better, you would swear these pieces were some sort of painted porcelain. After all, how could one piece of wood be formed, inside and out, as if it were pottery? And, not simply any pottery, delicate, carefully in-depth pottery. Rude Osolink was a master and a motivation to woodturners all over the world. His pieces are in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. and among his bowls was in fact presented to the Queen of England by the United States Government!

For as amazing as woodturning can be, it’s actually not tough to begin. Think of it like chess, the guidelines are easy to find out, even a child can play and yet. a real chess master works a lifetime at his craft. To start, you simply need a lathe and a few chisels. In addition, lathes can be found in a broad series of sizes so that you can discover one to fit even the smallest area. Obviously, you won’t be turning a big bowl on a small lathe! And, recently Oneway Production, a maker of high quality lathes, has established a complete sized “Sit Down” lathe. This is a lathe that can be utilized in a conventional standing position but the headstock can likewise pivot and lock in position for someone who can not stand. This opens the world of woodcraft to persons who may otherwise be excluded because of disability.

Woodturning is an excellent pastime, one that numerous woodturners find not just relaxing but likewise artistically satisfying. If you’ve been looking for that best hobby that is both beneficial and creatively fulfilling, why not consider woodturning? A word of warning, lathes can be quite pricey and, as your abilities grow so will your investment in tools. You may wish to consider finding a regional class on woodturning and/or inspecting out a woodturning exhibit at a local wood working show. An outstanding resource is the American Association of Woodturners.