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The Summer Heat is on in the Shop

It’s summer time here in Florida, and it’s hot, hot, hot, and oh yeah a bit humid to boot.

I’ve tried to not let it slow me down with regards to working in the shop, but I do have to work around the heat. During the month of July I got out early in the morning and worked till around noon. By that time of the day in July, the sun is high in the sky and the heat and humidity hangs from you. From the looks of it, August will be no different so it will be more early morning work in the shop till it gets too hot.

Still I have managed to turn out (no pun intended) some new items. In addition to trying to sneak in some summer turning in the shop, I have also spent some time cleaning and tuning up my lathe and other tools in preparation for fall.

The Eucalyptus by far has been my favorite wood to work with, both the ability to turn it as well as the color and grain of the wood which never ceases to amaze me. The colors of the wood range from a light brown along the outside to a deep reddish brown as you get deeper into the wood. Thus far I’ve been mainly making bowls with the Eucalyptus and even some bowls with candle holders in the center. They have been coming out very nicely.

I do have some of the Eucalyptus set aside that will be cut into spindles for other items such as pens, shaving sets, and even a bottle opener or two.

The Birch has been a pleasure to work with as well, and I have made some of that wood into tea light candle holders. While the Birch is a light colored wood, the spalting (coloring appearing in cut wood as it ages) has brought out some beautiful variations in the grain.

wooden bowls, bowls, candle holders
Eucalyptus bowls and candle holders

Also I have been playing around with making pen blanks. Using colored pencils I have set them into blanks and then turned them into pens. The effect is a splash of polka dots and color on the pens. It’s also another way to recycle something old and turn (pun completely intended) into something new.

Eucalyptus bowl and click pens
Eucalyptus Bowl and Slimline Pro click pens w/ colored pencils

Some planks of Cypress have also made their way into the shop that have been recovered from the local ship yard. I’ve cut a few into pieces that will be made into shallow bowls, and the rest of it is waiting to be cut either into spindles for magic wands and wine bottle toppers. I’ve really taken a liking to working with recovered and reclaimed wood as once you start digging into what looks like a tired old piece of wood you can uncover some hidden beauty.

Cypress planks
Cypress planks
Cypress bowl
Cypress bowl

In between that I have been lining up craft shows for the near future; including the August 4th First Friday in Tarpon Springs. Right on the heels of that I will be at Hippie Fest in Tarpon Springs on August 12th. These are both fun family craft shows with lots of great vendors, food, music, and crafts.

Other events in the Pinellas/Pasco area are also in the works and will be announced here and on my FaceBook page as they get closer.

Even though it has been a hot summer, I’ve been plugging away in the shop and look forward to seeing some of you out at the upcoming shows.

 

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Just Doing My Job

I see you there. I know your footsteps. The murmur of your voice as you pass by. But you don’t see me, do you?

Whatever you need, it’s always there. I don’t complain, though. I know my job. Give ’em what they want. Give ’em what they need. That’s me.

You don’t even notice when things start to run low, do you? I do, though.

I can’t complain too much. I know I’m the most sought after in the entire office. People don’t know why they crave me. Maybe they shouldn’t. Maybe it’s enough to have a need and know where to go to fill it. Maybe I serve a greater purpose that way.

Ah, hell, is a little gratitude that hard, though? Is it so difficult to acknowledge me? Nod your head. Smile. Make eye contact. Anything.

Bunch of ungrateful babies.

No, they don’t notice me until something runs out. Then they’re shocked. Annoyed. Pissed. Even worse, they leave. They run out to get what they need. Damn it, give me a minute, and I’ll get you what you want. Don’t I always? Have I ever really let you down?

Jerks! Run out, see if I care! You’ll be back. Everyone comes back. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But in a few days, you’ll wander mindlessly by with your hand out for what only I can give you.

How do I know? How can I be so damned sure?

Because I’m the office candy dish, that’s why…

If your candy dish, office or otherwise, doesn’t have quite the same attitude as mine, maybe it’s time to o something a little different.

Check out all my wooden bowls on Etsy! Click here to shop.