About

The Curl of Wood and Time

A butterfly chose to rest on the top of my head. It tickled.

A butterfly chose to rest on the top of my head. It tickled.

 

When I was six or seven some carpenters built a porch on the house next door. In those days they used hand saws. I asked for the “blocks” to play with. At first they we delighted to hand waste wood over to me, but they didn’t make pieces fast enough for me and I soon got to be a pest.

I remember another interesting afternoon at the back of my grandfathers barn that he had converted into a blacksmith shop, He was making a wagon wheel, heating the iron and shaping it around the wood that he had bent and letting the metal cool and shrink to force the spokes securely into the hub. My grandfather gave me tips about structure; which direction to put a angled supporting piece on a gate, for instance. I wasn’t ten years old at the time, but I remembered.

One summer in college, I helped frame over 30 houses. We did the floor joists and added the plywood subfloor on one day and then set the outer walls and rafters for the roof the next day. The inside walls went up, and plywood went on the roof the following day. It took another day for roofing and outside trim. The finish carpenters came the day after and our crew was working on the next house.

I did some set design for television after college. Mostly I used 2 x 4’s, cardboard, and PVC pipe. And I did some furniture design using the same materials. I didn’t have much money then and I thought people would appreciate well designed, but inexpensive furniture. I had too many irons in the fire to push that idea very far though.

I am an artist and photographer and as such I have always explored various mediums…the old ways and the new ways, too. But knowing how to do something and being able to do something really well are two different things. I was never a furniture maker, although I have designed a thing or two that I am proud of and I have always been about making things, especially with wood.

Woodturning fascinates me. It’s just magic. It begins with watching ribbons curl off a block of wood at the end of a chisel point. Now that I have been doing it for a few years I am compelled to become better at turning, to learn the secrets of wood and woodworking, and to push the barriers of craft and creativity. I have much to learn and a way to go.

 

“It’s never too late to be who you might have been.” George Elliot

 

Here are a couple of photos of my lathe setup.

I keep most of my chisels on the left side of my lathe.

I keep most of my chisels on the left side of my lathe.

My grinder sits on a small cabinet to the left. The cabinet is on wheels.

My grinder sits on a small cabinet to the left. The cabinet is on wheels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please visit ART STUDIO, my art and photography site. Just for fun and a little history visit the PULP FICTION site.

 

   ART STUDIO
             Sid Webb’s Studio “ Purchase prints of my art and photography.
   PULP FICTION
             My Father the Writer, James Webb . . . Wild West pulp fiction and other writing.