I recently took a WOW Factor master class with Nick Agar at
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. June 9-16,
2019. Here are some photos of the work I created in the class.
I had a great time at the class. Nick is a great instructor. I
loved the environment at Arrowmont. The food was excellent. The turning
studio is top notch.
Nick is well known for his Viking Sunset Bowls. This class was
something different. It was all about creating turned wall pieces and
sculptures from cut up turned forms. I also made some plates on my own to
play with some of Nick’s decorating techniques.
I teach woodturning. But, I believe you should never stop
learning. It’s time to roll over and die when you stop learning. Thus, I
still take classes.
Here is the class description from the Arrowmont catalog.
NICK AGAR, WOW FACTOR, June 9-15 2019, One Week, Course Fee: $800
During this master workshop students explore the potential of the
wooden surface and what it offers makers. You will discover form and
proportion and will create wall pieces, cut up-reconstructed sculptures,
and turned and sculpted solid forms. Participants will utilize power
carving, pyrography, airbrushing, and ceramic and metal effects using the
instructors signature series paints (all made in the U.S.) and other paints
to enhance their work to give it the WOW factor. Open to all skill levels,
however basic skills at the lathe are needed.
Nick Agar has over 25 years of experience as a woodturner. He is a
registered professional turner, co-author of the book Woodturning Evolution
and an elected member of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen. Specializing in
surface enhancement and renowned for his wall sculptures, his award-winning
work often incorporates carving, airbrushing, ceramic and metal effects.
Agar has inspired many woodturners with his work and has traveled across
the world to demonstrate his skills. TURNINGINTOART.COM
This was the first time Nick taught this class in the US. He plans on teaching it again in the US. Nick just moved
(immigrated) to Georgia USA (4/2019). His new studio is across the street from Chroma Craft’s US location.
I created 2 wall pieces in the class. I really enjoyed making
these. I am definitely going to be making more of these in the future.
Here is the 1st wall piece I created in Nick’s class. The wood is
really nice curly maple. 12″ square by 2″ thick.
The idea here was to turn and decorate square pieces and then cut
them up. Nick suggested cutting them up in 1″ wide strips or into
quarters. Then we could rearrange or skew the pieces.
After I turned the square piece, I decided to decorate it with
airbrush stuff I learned from Nick. I love the way it came out!
I decided it was too nice to cut into strips. Thus, I cut it into
quarters. The original piece is on the left in above photo. One of 16
possible arrangements is on the right.
I colored the piece with Chroma Craft Wood Dyes applied with an
airbrush. I used some airbrush stencils from Nick, Amazon and Binh Pho.
Note: 4 pieces * 4 sides = 16 possible arrangements.
Here are two alternate arrangements of the 1st wall piece.
The piece is not done yet. I plan on mounting this piece on a
black steel background that is roughly 3″ larger than the piece. I will
install magnets on the back of each piece. This will allow people to
rearrange the pieces to create their own image.
It looks better with a 1/4″ of space between the pieces. I just
stacked them up for the photos. So, no space was possible. I am going to
add spacers to the finial piece.
Note: Using magnets to mount sculptures on plinths (suspended in
space) was one of the ideas Nick discussed in class. I decided to expand
that idea to mount my wall pieces.
Here is the 2nd wall piece I created in Nick’s class. The wood is
Maple. 10-1/2″ square by 1-1/4″ thick.
Nick suggested that we could remount and turn each quarter
individually after cutting the main piece into 4 parts. I wanted to try
out that idea. I also wanted to try a piece with out a lot of fancy
airbrushing. Just let the beauty of the wood shine thru.
I was finishing this piece on the last day of class and got in to
much of a hurry. I accidentally powered sanded the orange center on one of
the 4 pieces. Then I had to try to cover it up by sanding all 4 of them.
It didn’t really work out.
I colored the piece with Chroma Craft Wood Dyes applied with an
airbrush. The Chroma Craft dyes are fast drying and DO NOT penetrate into
the wood. Thus, I got way with, just sanding any dye over spray off the top
surface to expose nice clean wood. I masked the junctions in circles with
masking tape. That was a pain.
Here are two alternate arrangements of the 2nd wall piece
We started the class by creating sculptures from cut up turned
forms. We turned a 9″ round bottomed cereal bowl shape on the outside with
a small 2″ shallow bowl on the inside. Then we cut the bowl into slices
and experimented with carving, wood burning, coloring and finishing
The photos show my 2 creations. The above photo on the left is the
front view. The photo on right is the back view. I am really happy with
the way the pieces turned out.
I cut my bowl into 3 slices. I never got around to using the
center slice that contains the small 2″ bowl on the inside. It is NOT
shown in the photos.
The green piece in photos is ash wood with power carved and burned
textures. It was painted with copper and bronze reactive metallic paint.
Some areas were painted with copper, others with bronze. Then it was aged
with green patina aging solution.
The red, orange, and yellow piece is ash wood with power carved and
burned textures. It was painted with red, orange and yellow Chroma Craft
Wood Dyes. Then the back and some areas on the front were highlighted with
Chroma Craft Viking Silver Chroma-Gilt.
Nick wanted us to mount our sculptures on a plinth with magnets.
The magnets allow the pieces to be moved around and re positioned to create
new configurations. I really liked the idea. But, the wimpy magnets I
brought with me were not up to the task. My slices of ash were to heavy to
be held up at the angle I wanted. I had to use dowels rather than magnets.
I made some 9″ hard maple plates. They were canvases on which I
could try some of the techniques demonstrated by Nick in the class.
The plate on the left in the photo is Chroma Craft Wood Dyes
applied with an airbrush. I used some airbrush stencils from Amazon and
The plate on the right is Chroma Craft Black Web-Fx special effect
paint, over Golden brand Iridescent Bright Gold acrylic paint, over Chroma
Craft Blood Red Wood Dye.
You can see in the photo that some paint escaped under the masking
tape that I used to mask things off. In the future I need to do a better
job of masking.
I also made a viking style plate. I wanted to try Nick’s idea of
mixing different colors of Chroma Craft Chroma-Gilt on the same piece.
Some areas are say copper while others are bronze.
I turned a 9″ hard maple plate and decorated it (cut groves in it)
with my small and large Sorby Spiraling and Texturing tools.
In the above photos the front of the plate is on the left. The
back is on the right. The back is darker than the front in real life.
I kind of forget what I did here. I am not sure about the colors.
Here is my best guess. The front is Saxon Gold and Antique Brass Chroma
Craft Chroma-Gilt, over Green Verdigris Chroma Craft Chroma-Gilt, rubbed
into the groves with a tooth brush, over Chroma Craft Black Wood Dye.
The back is Celtic Copper and Nordic Bronze Chroma Craft
Chroma-Gilt, over Chroma Craft Black Wood Dye.
On the last day of class I made a platter (wide rim bowl). I liked
a platter with a white and blue rim done by another student. I wanted to
try something similar.
I took the piece home to finish at home when I did not have time to
finish it in class. I got inspired and made another piece with a red
background at home.
The platter in left photo is Blue and Black Chroma Craft Web-Fx
special effect paint, over Rustolem flat white spray paint. With Golden
brand blue and black acrylic paint, airbrushed on shading. The ugly brown
marks in the bowl, showed up when I turned the bowl. They are in the wood.
I was not happy.
The platter in right photo is Black Chroma Craft Web-Fx special
effect paint, over Blood Red Chroma Craft Wood Dye . With Golden brand
black acrylic paint, airbrushed on shading.
The black rim on both platters is black acrylic paint, applied with
Both platters are 9″ diameter, hard maple wood. The bottom of both
platters is a roman ogee shape, natural wood color.