Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ashley Harwood Workshop

I was one of 7 participants for an all day hands-on turning workshop with Ashley Harwood on Nov 13, sponsored by my club, Chattahoochee Woodturners. My wife and I were also fortunate enough to be able to host Ashley for one night before she headed back to Charleston, SC.

Ashley turns utility bowls commercially so is a skilled bowl turner. She makes some beautiful bowls and I got some great inspirational ideas on base and rim treatment.  She uses Mahoney's Walnut oil because the finish is more consistent even after the bowl has been washed a few times.  This is not as likely with some of the other finishes. Her workshop was based on using the traditional push cut techniques favored by Stuart Batty, a third generation woodturner. Ashley did an internship with Stuart so really knows her stuff.  I was fortunate enough to have taken a two day class with Stuart shortly after I started turning almost six years ago.  This was a great refresher and I learned some new things.

One was how to get a good tenon with a bowl gouge. I have usually rough out a tenon with a bowl gouge but generally had to resort to a bedan or parting tool to make sure I got a clean shoulder.  I like the quality of the push cut. The down side for me is that it appears more difficult for me to get the exact outside bowl shape I want.  I also do not like having to turn an expansion opening in the face in order to have full access to the bottom as is required by the push cut.  I will probably go back to a pull cut and push cut combination. But I am inspired to work harder on the tool control required to get a great finish with less for sanding! See her website for more information about Ashley and her work.

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