Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Speaking in Tongues

Saturday morning, my bathroom clock radio was fine. Saturday evening, it looked like it had had a stroke:
I tried unplugging it and plugging it back in, on the off chance that would reset it. Nope:
*sigh* What is it with me and LED displays? (New bread machine worked much better the second time around, so, after one more test, old bread machine with its cryptic display will be leaving, one way or another.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Louis Riel Day

Today, on my holiday Monday, I slept late, then shovelled the sidewalks:
(I shovelled a lot more than what you can see here, but this is representative, and I didn't want to go back out in the cold to take more photographs that you probably don't care much about anyway.)

I had a battle of the bread machines:
Sourdough (back) in the old bread machine, plain white (front) in the new... because the last time the new bread machine produced a funny-looking loaf with a swirl of black (oil?), that I ended up tossing out:
This week, however, the new machine produced a perfectly acceptable loaf, so now I have an overabundance of bread, rather than a shortage. Once I've gone through these loaves, I'll give sourdough another try in the new machine.

Finally, I finished off the day with an evening at the art club:
I finished carving the modelling compound, patched the cracks, then added some colour that will mostly be an underpainting. (With this much texture, I want to avoid white spots showing through, so I figured I'd get things covered with colours that wouldn't look funny if I miss spots with the final colours.

Quote from Riel: "My people will sleep for one hundred years, but when they awake, it will be the artists who give them their spirit back."

Let's see... slept late, struggled with snow, then had a nice evening doing art. Not quite what Riel meant, but I think it works. ;)

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Woodturning Workshop

Last night and today (uh, well, now yesterday) I was at a woodturning workshop at Lee Valley, and it was *awesome*. I've never turned before. Friday night, I created a somewhat uneven dowel from a chunk of wood rough-cut from a 2x4:
(We were learning how to go from square to round, and handle two of the tools.)

This morning we continued by learning coves and beads. My practice piece started to look like a spurtle, so I practiced more even cutting to make it into one (well, it needs some pretty major sanding, plus the end trimmed off):
I was still pretty proud of it, though.

I started a second chunk of former 2x4 practice, but only got it mostly rounded by the time we switched over to working with wet poplar to make a "weed pot" (it won't hold water, but you can stick a few dried weeds in it for decoration). Here's my chunk of poplar after I took it from square to round:
And here's my bud vase / weed pot:
I was very proud of my "spurtle" and weed pot, until I got to make a second weed pot out of a Manitoba maple burl (on the left in this photo, center shows the bit of burl left over after I parted the pot from it):
Other side:
This makes my first projects look like junk. I'm exceedingly proud of this little creation! (It's sanded, but I still need to apply a finish.)

There's a lathe in the workshop in my mom's garage, but it's a metal lathe. Bummer. (Until I decide I want to do something that needs a metal lathe, of course.) I either need to figure out how to convert it, or buy myself a wood lathe... and the tools too, of course. Or find somewhere where I can use a wood lathe for a drop-in fee.

Friday night I googled lathes, to find out the difference between wood and metal lathes. The main difference is that a wood lathe has a tool rest that allows you to work freehand. The lathe in the shop also has a "dead end" rather than a "live end" (live is better, dead needs oil), and the chucks aren't spiral (according to the instructor), so it's harder to get things centered properly.

I'd like to do more of this wood turning stuff. Spindles, bowls, nostepinnes, bobbin lace bobbins...