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Keepin’ Busy

October 14, 2013

lathe

As we finish up the Narnia wheel and get it ready to ship, I have begun a couple new projects.  I needed a new lathe to make the large wheels and one with the capacity to do what I wanted would have cost several thousand dollars at least.  Besides the price, the space it would take in my little shop would have been too costly.  All I need is a machine to do one job so I felt I could make a lathe  that would be adequate.  Plus it is a fun challenge to actually beat the system and make instead of buy.  I had a motor and a lot of scraps around, so this is the result.  Not pretty but by golly it works!  And it cost me about $50 in parts.  I have used it already and here is the first fruit from the machine:

whale wheel

Laurie Weinsoft, our good friend and great fiber artist and teacher, commissioned me to make her another wheel.  The new one will be a lot lighter than her first wheel and she should be able to take it with her easier than she can Cecil.  She asked me to use a wolf for a figurehead/handle, and also requested humpback whales.  And then she asked for sparkles!  If you know Laurie, you’d know she is a pretty outgoing lady without many fears.  So, rather than being very traditional with the design, I opted to paint the whales using northwest coast design ideas but get a little playful as well.  These animals create something called a bubble ring  when they gather food and it seemed like a great way to add Laurie’s sparkles.  I was able to buy some Swarovski  rhinestones and epoxied them onto the wheels.  The eyes of the whales are abalone, which is a traditional embellishment in coastal native art.  These wheels are not quite finished, but I like the result so far.  The frame is coming along too and will incorporate some weight saving cut-outs as well as a new method of varying the orifice height.  I’ll put up more photos as things progress.  Thanks for looking!

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From → Gary's Thoughts

4 Comments
  1. I just showed the picture to Bruce. He loves it too. You are a very good listener. Laurie

  2. Tagati permalink

    Aloha,

    Luving the spin on native art. And Laurie gets her bling too!

    Mahalo.

  3. I love being able to watch you create these beauties! Love the whales…

  4. Really cool! I can’t wait to see mine!

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