It’s amazing what you can do with a crotch. I got my big piece o’ crotch-wood at the Baltimore Area Turners club as a door prize. To be honest, I really had no idea what I would do with it at first, there were so many options. I considered making a paper thin bowl to highlight the figure, but it was really just to big, and once I spilt it open, the figure was not so great. Then I saw a you tube video from Bob Hamilton and I decided to make the form he did in his video.
Mounting the piece between the spurs was a bit of challenge. Of course it would be off balance, but to help find the best balance point, I used a compass and found the largest circle I could make, then made sure the center point was equidistant from each side.
Turning at the lowest speeds made it harder for me to get the smooth finish devoid of tool marks, so I had to do more hand sanding, but making the overall form was fun to do and did not take very long. The real challenge was making a not very pretty piece of wood look good; and secondly, I did not want a matching pair of odd bowls. So texturing, metal leafing, and chemical patinas came to the rescue.
The texturing was done with a small carving gouge. I used more of a random design on one piece and used more of a symetrical pattern on the other. I really like way the small little scoops catch the light.
The first piece I made, I left it’s natural color (mainly at the insitance of my oldest daughter), so I just used a danish oil finish. For the inside of the bowl I coated it with copper leaf, then used a barium sulfide chemical patina to add color to the copper. It smells like someone did a sneaky at first, but it is all good now.
The second piece I painted with black acrylic paint, and the for the inside of the bowl I used a dutch metal leaf, then top coated the whole piece with lacquer.
I’m pleased with both pieces, now it is up to the John Q. Public (mostly like Ms. Jane Public I bet) to vote on how much they like them by using U.S. Federal Reserve Notes.
So, how do you like my crotch?
(You honestly didn’t think I would let the crotch theme go did you?)