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Extreme Makeover: Spinning Wheel Edition

July 20, 2015

old cecilnew cecil

Cecil has held his own during the years as new wheels have been made.  Since Laurie is a teacher as well as a promoter of my work, a number of these newer machines have visited Cecil.  It reminds me a bit of how an older dog will put up with a rambunctious puppy when it is introduced into the family.  Rudy the wolf certainly matches the puppy character and I guess that is why Laurie wanted to give Cecil a new fresher look.  I’ll detail some of the changes I made:

The blue and white paint was chosen for a different spinner for reasons not related to Laurie.  She loves color as any of you who know her will attest.  And she loves sparkle.  So the paint on the big wheels has been changed and yet keeps with the serpent scale idea of the original.  But instead of the Chinese porcelain look, I inlaid blue onyx stones and added some sparkly little crystals too.  The paint is a subtle mix of blue, green, gold, and purple.  And I’ll tell you now – boy does it flash in the light when it spins!

Both to save weight and to freshen up the look. I replaced the old treadles and footman rods with new components made of cherry.  It will mellow a bit with age but even now the fresh warm cherry goes well with the serious jatoba wood.  And I inlaid abalone ovals in the footmen and an onyx stone into each treadle.

The hubs have been re-turned on the lathe and abalone has been added to the new center recess in each hub.  The brass screws have been replaced with walnut plugs over which abalone discs have been glued.  The colors of the abalone go very well with the new paint.

On each side of the lower frame between the treadles I glued on a decorative cherry piece with painted scales which echo the paint  on the big wheels.

The original flyer, while beautiful, was very heavy having been made from jatoba.  Also the orifice was pretty small.  Laurie will still be able to use it, but now she has a new light weight cherry flyer with a delta and sliders.    She’ll be able to feed a lot wider range of things onto those bobbins!

One thing Laurie wanted  was an upgrade to Cecil himself.  I thought long and hard about this and eventually decided the risk was too great.  I love Cecil’s noble and stoic look and felt he might lose his personality if I gave him Rudy’s glittery tooth or real looking serpent eyes.  When you change these things you change the personality.  So, Cecil is himself only now when the new kids show up to play, they will all be in for a surprise!  I’d love to see the look on Rudy’s face when he gets a load of the grand old serpent!





From → Gary's Thoughts

  1. Rudy has seen the pictures and as good siblings do, his response “is bring it on big brother. She can only spin on one wheel at a time. Let’s see who she chooses. “. Yes this should be lots of fun and sparkle here.

  2. I like the new colors on the big wheel ever so much better. The old theme looked feminine; now it fits Cecil!

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