Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cherry Vessel with leaves

Height: 210mm (8-1/4")
Diam: 130mm (5-1/8")
Finish: Haarlem oil

This was turned out of a green piece of Flowering Cherry grown in Taupo and turned to 2 - 3mm thick. It was going to have a round bottom but it was a bit unbalanced so I flattened off and added the pattern. The pattern is done with pyrography, painted with black and gold then the iridescent green and blue painted last. My wife Sue thinks I'm mad adding so much detail to the bottom, when you can't see it and thinks it should be displayed on its side.

Comments and critique welcome

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Right picture, Delani and I.

Height: 9m (30 feet)
Width at base 4.5m (14 feet)
Carving: Totara
Legs: Steel

I haven't been in my workshop much lately as I have been helping with this Sculpture.
A Master carver Delani Brown, a friend of mine was commissioned to carve this piece. It is a gift to the Taupo community from Contact Energy and to celebrate 50 years of Geothermal
Power at the Wairakei Power Station.
Not a lot of turning but the plugs that cover the bolts are turned!!! I helped
design the legs and was the liaison between the architects and the steel fabricators
and Delani.
I started off making Delani a scale model to show him how his drawing
would look in 3D and work out how tall the piece was going to be when finished.
I have been working for the last three to four months on this project, cutting
out rot and replacing it with solid wood. The logs have been down for about
seventy years or so and some of the heartwood had started to rot and had to
be removed. One section we replaced was so heavy four of us couldn't lift it.
Each carving weighs a tonne, so there is total of three tonne of wood up
there. Fitting the carving to the steel work was a mission in itself, which
ended up being one of my jobs; I also did the red paintwork.
On Wednesday 10th Nov at midnight we fitted the carvings to the steel work
so the public wouldn't see it being erected. Each of the carvings was covered
in black plastic while we were fitting and once fitted the plastic was replaced
with a large black fabric cover. The sculpture wasn't to been seen by anyone
until the unveiling, which was five thirty the next Saturday morning. Nobody
had seen the finished sculpture, not even Delani until then. It's all to do
with Maori protocol and to be a surprise to the Taupo public.
It has been an amazing project and has been a privilege to work with Delani.
It's given me a greater understanding of Maori protocol and history.
Now you can see why I haven't been in my workshop lately!
Now it's up, I can get back into my workshop.