You never know when or how an idea might come to you. I now have an idea for a new turned piece that is a mix of different ideas, but how it all came together is the interesting part.
The Start: You now see wavy lines as we go back in time to last August. It is the start of my beach vacation and I see a sea shell called a Jingle Shell (Anomia simplex). So named because a handful of these thin, translucent clamshell halves make a jingling sound when shaken together.
The shells are 1″–2″ in diameter and show a range of colors. Their surface is shiny like frosted nail polish. (Another name for the Jingle Shell is “Mermaid’s Toenails.”). As I was looking at the shell, I thought about collecting a bunch of them stringing them together in some way. I like to do little art projects on my beach vacation. So I spent about nine days looking for these shells and I managed to collect enough to do something with. But what? The wavy lines now take you back to the present.
The Now What Idea:
Now that I had all these shells, how would I connect them, and what would I do with them once I connected them? I thought and thought and got the idea to string them up like a pendant necklace and drape the necklace around a turned bowl.
Once I had that idea, I started hooking them together. I used a small gauge copper wire to make loops that hooked together. I called one of my Maryland Artisan Guild clients who is a jewelry maker and asked her what type of adhesive I should use to connect the copper wire to the sea shell. She recommended the Amazing E6000, so I ordered a tube online and it worked great! So I started making vertical chains of shells. I didn’t want to attach them horizontally until I had a bowl to measure the layout against, so that would have to wait.
Now the bowl:
Not long after I got home from vacation I made a vessel with a Southwest Indian bowl shape. It had to be kinda big with a long neck, but my first attempt had a neck that was too short. Attempt number two blew up on the lathe. Attempt number three was once again too small, and finally attempt number four was the right shape and size.
I really do try to turn almost everyday (except for Shabbos and holidays) and I can finally really tell that all that practice is paying off. It is good to see that my investment in education and tools is paying off.
Okay, now what:
When I held one of the vertical chains of shells against the bowl it looked pretty boring. So how am I going to make this thing look like something other than a plain bowl with a necklace of shells? Something has to tie the two objects together, and color coordinate them in some way. The plain cherry is not enough. Then, in one magic moment it all fell together…