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Challenging New Wheel

July 29, 2015


Before I talk about this new project, I want to thank everyone for such an enthusiatic response to the recent wheel idea I presented.  It is something that will be in the works and I’ll give progress reports as the occasions arise.

In the meantime I need to make my wait list a bit shorter and start the next wheel.  Stephanie requested a frog themed wheel and over the past months we have discussed quite a range of approaches.  She decided to focus on the Frog Prince tale by the Brothers Grimm.  In a nutsheel, a spoiled young princess is playing with her favorite gold ball, loses it in a forest pool, an enchanted prince turned frog saves the day by retrieving the ball, and ultimately regains his handsome manly form and gets a bride to boot.   With this in mind. I decided to sculpt a frog in a pool at the top of the wheel and also a gold ball nestled in a curve of the front leg.  I turned a wooden ball on the lathe and will use gold leaf over it.  Between the treadles, looking up at the spinner, will be a big fat toad – not actually part of the fable but Stephanie has a fondness for fat toads too.  On the main wheels will be a bunch of leaping frogs.   Stephanie liked one idea I had of a pool with stones and such.  So she sent me a box brimming with semi-precious stones of all sizes to use wherever appropriate.  That has been a real puzzle to figure out!  If I used my regular technique of inlaying stones directly into wood, these would die – no sparkle or anything.  Ultimately I enlisted the help of a friend who is a jeweler and he will set each of four chosen stones into a silver collar.  I will attach them into a channel cut in wood leading from the frog prince down toward the gold ball.  It will become sort of a magical pathway between the two.  This is a path I’ve never been on before and it could indeed open up possibilities for more wheels to come.  Stephanie has many more stones and what to do with them?  One idea is to take a big chunk of smokey quartz and have it held by the big toad.  I kind of think this will be fun.  Also I picked up a bunch of Swarovski crystals and will use them to embellish the backs of the leaping frogs as well as the back of the big toad.  I can hardly believe how much these little guys sparkle on a turning wheel.  Laurie’s Cecil looked like sparklers on the 4th of July!  Might as well light up these frogs too.  I guess that’s about it for now.  It is so interesting to go from wondering how to put such big and unweildy ideas into a wheel, to actually having a fun plan.  And now that I’m busy with wood, stones, crystals, and stained glass, it truly is a lot of fun!





From → Gary's Thoughts

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