Dennis Hales - Woodturning
Traditional turning skills are used with local grown hardwoods sycamore holly ash and maple The application of colour involves the use of water-soluble dyes. Modern aniline dyes and traditional dyes such Vandyke crystals are used to give a blend of colours and shades. The dyes are applied to the work after it has been turned. I use a variety of techniques including hand painting airbrushing and marbling, which involves over washing with two or more colours. The partially completed work is then replaced into the timber dryer to recondition the wood to stabilise the low (9% to 12%) moisture content before further applications of colour prior to gilding and lacquering.
After the pieces are decorated and lacquered, the work is gilded using metal leaf transfers 24 carat gold, copper, double weight silver leaf, variegated leaf and imitation gold. . The piece is replaced in the dryer to harden before being returned to the lathe .At this stage the leaf surface is cut back to the coloured background. The piece then receives a further two coats of lacquer which encapsulate the leaf to minimise any risk of tarnishing.
The wood is turned part seasoned and decorated on the lathe, and then allowed to dry. As the wood dry it shrinks across the grain which tends to accentuate elliptical forms such as Natural edge bowls and introduces movement in to larger platters, (not dissimilar to high fired ceramics). Providing the thin profile is constant there is no risk of cracking.
After drying including conditioning in the timber dryer( dehumidifier drying by transpiration) work is hand finished on the bench due to the excessive movement particularly holly.
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