Here are a couple of small, woodturned African Blackwood boxes. The larger one is about 3″ tall and 2 1/4″ in diameter. The smaller one is about 2″ tall and 2 1/2″ in diameter. As you can see, they both have been textured quite a bit.
The taller box has been textured with staggered ‘brick’ to make its cylindrical shape almost castle-like, perhaps a turret .
The smaller box, with it’s fez shape, seemed more suited to be mostly textured with a few bands of plain wood left for contrast.
Both of them have been finished only by polishing and buffed with wax creating a brilliant shine.
Here’s some more photos:
Working with the African Blackwood can be a somewhat of a chore since it is a bit brittle and creates an annoying black dust that seems to get everywhere and in everything but it’s end result is well worth it. When finished and polished up it takes on an almost glass-like quality. I must emphasize the word ‘quality’ because when handled these pieces feel like pieces of fine China.
We turned these at a recent woodturning seminar at Lee Valley that was taught by Steven Kennard. Steven is an excellent presenter and teacher, sharing his experience and a multitude of tips, to give a well rounded understanding in the creation of his world famous sculptural boxes. Thank, Steve!
Here he is starting his demonstration by rough turning the African Blackwood:
One note about the woodturning seminar, which we thought was rather funny… when we were finished our pieces Steve had an engraver there for us to sign them. We asked him if he would sign ours instead. He declined. Gee, we don’t know why? LOL!
It was a great couple of days and we’re sure that I’ll be using the turning techniques we learned as well as working with African Blackwood again… often… yes, very often… 🙂
Back to the shop…