יום ראשון, יוני 10, 2007

Clay?!?! That's not woodturning...

This last Friday I went with my wife to a new ceramics course that opened in our village. I was always curious to working with other materials. Wood is obviously my favorite, it has character and warmth and nobody can deny that it is alive...

My wife wants a salad bowl, I don't have a lathe large enough for that, and anyways she likes the clay ones better - so she decided to join the course so she could make one, I tagged along to see if it would be as fun. Clay is interesting to work with, this course is focused on hand work and not on working with a wheel (naturally I'm more interested in working with a wheel, so I was a bit disappointed, but the teacher said that if we really wanted she could bring a wheel to the next lesson, I'm waiting.). She taught us two techniques that she uses to create pottery. and then we each got 10 pounds of clay and were told to get wild with it... do what we want and express ourselves.

As could be expected everyone started making some sort of a round bowl, I decided to go square, in wood turning I always work in the round (even if creating eccentrics or therming, you always do a stage in the round), I thought it would make an interesting change. As we worked along the teacher focused us on some of the pitfalls of pottery which all center on the transformation of the wet clay in the oven into the finished product - air pockets, support and air pockets again... I had a good time, and I will continue for awhile, hopping she does bring the wheel next time.

My first conclusions? clay is very nice, the process is so different than woodworking (turning / carving whatever) if only for the fact that you can add material to the work at any time, and you don't need to worry about matching grain :-)

I also understood even more clearly why people use clay as model material, it is so much better to envision in 3D than in 2D (a sketch or computer screen). Even if I don't continue for long, I think I will always have a few pounds of clay tucked somewhere cool for playing with...

Here are some pictures from the first lesson:

My square thingy (will probably hold some keys, if survives the oven)

Square thingy again (different angle)

My wife's first bowl (Actually it's going to be a flower pot)

Some other creations of the other participants:

Missed Binh Pho... Sorry

As you can guess from the lack of a post, I didn't make it in the end to Binh Pho's demo - I heard it was great and a friend sent me two photos I thought I should share of a demo piece Binh brought along:

Please forgive me for missing the demo, I really wanted to go, but work had to come first this time...

יום רביעי, יוני 06, 2007

Time Sharing - Life, work and hobby(ies)

Since the day I started my wood turning hobby/passion I often find myself in the position where I have to decide on what I do now, how to spend my time more productively...

I usually find myself ignoring my hobby because something else is up - I want to rest / update on the news / email / TV watching / spend time with my family / work / reading books / updating my blogs / sites / house / garden / other projects /...

Now two or three items in the list are obviously superior to wood turning (I leave it to you to guess which ones) but the others are not that much more important to me. So I have to wonder why I don't turn so much these days (more like don't turn at all).

This might seem petty to you, but the truth is that *starting* to turn is my problem, my workshop is a cramped little plastic shed, and I feel cramped and prodded in there. every time I think about turning - I get that stuffy feeling and can't bring myself to go there at all. True, I've seen shops that were worse than mine, and people make do and create beautiful objects - I know this is MY limitation.

So I decided to invest in this, to eliminate this blockage (money can be the answer sometimes :-)) - I'm saving to build my real place... I have the land to do it, so there is nothing to stop me - once I collect the necessary funds this is a go! Hopefully, in a few months this will be getting underway - the Eshel Studio (also collecting for a table saw, radial drill press and router + table - heeheehhee).