Friday, May 27, 2011

Black Walnut

 Hand me a slab, let me chuck it up on the lathe, and it will sit there for a few days while I contemplate an ogee curve, or plan a pattern for a rim, or wonder if I should have cut it another way.  Eventually there is a resignation, and a prodding to get on with it.  Outer layers are always weather-worn, or sun bleached, and hiding what rests inside the wood. Chips fly in all directions and I'm kicking them out of my way on the floor so I can shift my stance to reach in under a tight curve.  Work alternates between the lathe and the grinder,  one with ribboned curls of wood arcing over my hands, the other with tiny sparks leaping up from the metal edge of the gouge as I guide it against the stone to freshen the cutting edge. Wood to metal, metal to wood. The two singing against each other as I reach the sweet spot, riding the bevel in a perfect, uninterrupted arc from top to bottom of the finished interior. And voila, it is done.

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