Sunday, 5 June 2011

Experimental bowl.

On the 25th and 26th of this month and again in September Mark Raby and I are running courses on Finishing texturing and colouring.
In readiness for this I have got some of the Jo Sonja's paint system from Mark Raby to practise with.
The Jo Sonja's system is a Iridescend paint system quite new to this country .Although Mark Raby is an expert with the system I have never tried it before.
I think there are a lot of possibilities with this paint and so I have been experimenting and here for you is one of the experiments.It never turned out quite as I had hoped but It is still not a bad result.
This is how you develop new ways to texture and colour,you play at it sometimes you get results you are pleased with sometimes not.It is all part of the fun.

This is one of my experiments and I think it is a success so I thought I would produce something similar but different.

I started with this Sycamore blank that I had roughed out about three months ago it is quite dry and being about 11" wide just right for a nice wide rimmed bowl.
As you can see I have used a jam chuck and brought up the tailstock.

From here I can finish the bottom of the bowl sanded down to 600 grit and trued up the spigot ready to  fit in my 50mm C jaws.
I only leave a very shallow spigot because it is always tidied up and left as a foot.
In my opinion a bowl looks far better on a foot as it gives the bowl lift.
You also have the advantage of being able to remount the bowl if you want to make Any changes.

The bottom is now finished except any last tidying up of the foot
The rim is now flattened with a bowl gouge and if necessary a scraper then sanded down to 340 grit.
I very rarely power sand now as I find that using Abranet abrasive rubbed briskly across the grain as you sand avoids getting those nasty sanding lines around the piece.
When you are sanding don't press to hard as all that does is generate heat and wear your abrasive out.
I always start with 120 grit then go through 150,240, 320,600 and finally buff of the lathe.
As you can see from the pic above I use a soft pad with the Abranet it works a treat.
After the rim has been sanded to 320 grit two coats of ebonising lacquer are applied.
As you can see nothing is done to the bowl centre at this stage.

Now this is where the experiment really starts.
I had visions of creating what would look like droplets on a pool of water randomly over the rim.
I removed the bowl from the chuck and placed it on the floor.
I thinned down some Jo Sonja's red whetted the bowl rim and dropped the thin paint from an eye dropper onto the rim.
As you can see it did not look anything like drops of water on a pool.
Not being someone that is easily put of I decided to carry on and try to create an effect with what I had.
The bowl was returned to the chuck and the piece spun at 1000 rpm.
As you can see from pic above it was just a load of splodges but after a spin this was starting to take shape.

That is the Jo Sonja's Turquoise Iridescent it looks good on the black background.
I did not want too many colours on this piece as I wanted a big contrast between the background and the colours.
In the next pic you can see that Red Iridescent has been added.This was done by flicking the paint at the rim as it turned at 1000 rpm.
This gave a very similar effect as what I had tried earlier but it was much easier.
To make the piece look more interesting I have applied some more over the rim with a brush on the edge of the inner bowl while piece was spun at 1000 rpm.this caused the paint to spread outwards creating a very nice pattern.
Finaly I added some Jo Sonja's Gold Iridescent over the red on the rim and called that it for colour.

Here is the finished bowl and I am very pleased with it.It has had one coat of clear lacquer in this pic but It will have several more before it is finished
As I said before just play with coulers and textures and you will be supprised what you will achieve.
I spend hours and hours trying differant things if I end up with something I dont like I just skim the rim of and start again.
If you are interested in one of our coarses there is one place left on 25th June the 26th is full but we still have places in September.Email me by clicking here


  1. Hi Mark.
    It is fun.I really enjoy experimenting with colours and texture.