On my desk today are a group of beautifully turned wooden kokeshi-like dolls. My Uncle Michael has had a wood lathe for a long time but just recently has been spending some serious time turning out exquisite bowls as gifts and these dolls specifically for me to decorate. Let me tell you, it was with a tremulous hand that I approached the first one yesterday with a sizzling-hot wood burning tool. It’s hard to get my head around decorating them as in my opinion they are perfect just the way they are… but I experimented on the little peg-like one on the right.
The wood burning tool catches in the grain so it’s difficult to get a smooth line, but it was exciting and now my mind is buzzing with possibilities.
I tried wood turning at uni – it was incredibly difficult as a beginner (for me, anyway). It’s one of those activities like throwing a clay pot. When you watch someone with expertise and talent work at it, it looks beautiful, soothing and as easy as working with soft butter, but when you try it yourself things go (sometimes scarily) awry. I finally managed to turn a strange knobby thing to include in my woodwork folio, but it didn’t inspire me. Michael’s work *is* what inspires me.