Tag Archives: Plates

Agar Class at Arrowmont

Photo: group_agar_wow_class_2019_800.jpg 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.
Photo: walls_agar_wow_class_2019_800.jpg 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.
Photo: awall1_agar_wow_class_2019_800.jpg 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.
Photo: awall2_agar_wow_class_2019_800.jpg 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.
Photo: cwall1_agar_wow_class_2019_800.jpg 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.
Photo: cwall2_agar_wow_class_2019_800.jpg Here are two alternate arrangements of the 2nd wall piece
Photo: slices_agar_wow_class_2019_800.jpg 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 techniques.

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.
Photo: bplates_agar_wow_class_2019_800.jpg 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 Binh Pho.

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.
Photo: gplate_agar_wow_class_2019_800.jpg 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. By design.

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.
Photo: wrbowls_agar_wow_class_2019_800.jpg 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 an airbrush.

Both platters are 9″ diameter, hard maple wood. The bottom of both platters is a roman ogee shape, natural wood color.

1st Plate Bowl on New Powermatic 3520C Lathe

1st Plate Bowl on New Powermatic 3520C Lathe Photo: 1st Plate Bowl on New Powermatic 3520C

The first thing I turned on my new Powermatic 3520C Lathe is what I call a plate bowl. A plate with a little bowl in the center. I like to turn this shape and then use it as a canvas that I can decorate.

Here is the finished plate bowl.

10" diameter. 1-1/2" tall. Maple wood. Lathe and hand carved rings and grooves. Red stain. Gold acrylic paint. Acrylic lacquer finish.

Turning this on my new Powermatic 3520C was as “easy as pie”. No mounting problems. No vibration problems, etc. This piece is small and easy. Thus, I was not expecting any problems.

Note: I am teaching a plate class at the Brookfield Craft Center on Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6, 2018. We will be making similar plates or plate bowls in that class.

Photo: My New Powermatic 3520C Lathe My New Powermatic 3520C Lathe

Here is what my new lathe looks like.

For more info see "My New Powermatic 3530C Lathe Verses My Old Powermatic 3520B" blog entry.

Photo: The Blank The Blank

Here is the blank mounted on a screw in my chuck. The blank is a chunk of hard maple wood. Roughly 2" thick by 10-1/2" in diameter.

I just cut the corners off on the band saw. I made absolutely no attempt to make the blank round on the band saw. I have a lathe for making things round!

Here I am getting ready to true up the face of the blank.

You can see here why I do not like the stock Powermatic banjo with its offset tool post design. I have to crank the quill in the tailstock way out to get the offset Powermatic banjo in there. The quill is way to far out for safety in my opinion.

This is why I strongly prefer the NON offset design of Oneway banjos. For more info see Oneway Banjo section of "My New Powermatic 3530C Lathe Verses My Old Powermatic 3520B" blog entry.

Photo: Bottom Roughed Out Bottom Roughed Out

Here I roughed out the bottom of the plate bowl. I am ready to turn the blank around and work on the front.

First I turned the outside round and slightly down hill from the top. The top is on the headstock side. Then, I turned a tenon on the bottom that matches my Oneway Stronghold Chuck. I left the rest of the blank pretty thick so I can cut grooves on the other side. If I made the plate wall thin now, then it would flex to much, when I tried to cut the grooves.

Photo: Top Finished Top Finished

Hind site is always 20/20. I wish I took more photos. I forgot to take some photos of top side trued up. Then another photo of me cutting the bowl.

In this photo, I am getting ready to paint the gold rings. Painting between well defined lines is easy with the lathe running. Thus, I first cut some shallow coves to hold the gold paint and then some V grooves on either side to create well defined lines.

At this point I have NOT thinned out the plate. The bottom is still thick, like in previous photo. I am going to thin it out latter, at the very end.

Power Carve the Radial Grooves

I removed the CHUCK from the lathe. I left the piece in the chuck! Latter, I want to be able to remount the piece and still have it run true.

I laid out the radial lines with a pencil. Then I carved the lines with a V chisel in my Ryobi power carver. After carving, I removed any left over pencil lines and eased over any hard edges with a 3M radial bristle disk.

For more info see my "Power Carving Textures" blog entry.

Unfortunately, from this point on I forgot to take step by step photos.

Stain It Red

I stained the entire top and sides with red alcohol based stain. I forced the stain into all of the rings and grooves.

I let the stain dry for a while. Or, did I let it dry over night? I really don’t remember.

Paint the Gold Rings

After the stain dried. I put the chuck with the piece still mounted in it, back on the lathe. I painted the gold rings that I turned in with gold acrylic paint. With the lathe running slowly. With a 1/4″ round paint brush. I wanted the red stain to show thru the paint a bit, but not to much. Thus I adjusted the thickness / thinness of the paint with some air brush medium.

I then removed the chuck again from lathe.

After the gold paint dried I sealed the entire top surface with a couple of coats of rattle can lacquer.

Paint the Gold Grooves

After sealing, I painted the grooves that I carved in with gold acrylic paint. I used a 1/4″ round paint brush. This was not easy. I had to dork around a lot. Wipe it off some. Paint some on, again. Until I ended up with the paint, just in the groves, with some red showing thru.

I sealed the entire top surface again, after the paint dried, with a couple of coats of rattle can lacquer.

Photo: Steel Wool & Buff Steel Wool & Buff

Here is what the piece looked like when I mounted the chuck back on the lathe. I turned the lathe on and used some synthetic steel wool to remove any dust in the lacquer and buffed it with a soft cloth.

Photo: Turn The Back Turn The Back

I turned the piece around and mounted it on a vacuum chuck. So I could finish the bottom. I thinned out the bottom to match the top. Then I stained it, sealed it, etc.

Here is what the finished bottom looks like. The picture was taken at a slight angle so you can see some of the details.

I really wish I had remembered to take a lot more photos for my blog!