Even since his collaboration with Heath Ceramics, I have been infatuated with the wood work of Alma Allen. In college my minor was in the ceramics department where I spent the first year figuring out clay and the last three working with porcelain. During my time working on the wheel I talked with my dad about how it compared to wood turnings,which he had been creating for years, for the first time ever we could talk tools together. When I came across the Heath-Allen collaboration I realized that I would love to be able to create new work that combines thrown clay and wood turnings.
This morning I spent time with my dad in his workshop for my first woodturning lesson. He taught me the difference between a scraper (smooths the wood) and a gouge (for deeper cuts and design). If you think these using a scraper and a gouge sounds dangerous, try using them on a piece of maple that is spinning at 1,200 rpm. Also, when your teacher says, "Don't do that because then shit could really go wrong" and you remember that he is missing fingers (not from woodworking FYI) you fully realize that shit going wrong really means business. After a few hours I was able to turn three shapeless logs into smooth, tapered spindles. My next lesson is next month and will work up to turning from a faceplate to make my first bowl. I hope everyone likes lumpy wooden bowls because that is what you are all getting for Hanukkah.