Segmented Vases for Mother-s Day

If you’re lucky enough to have your mother around this time of year, you’re probably scrolling through endless pages of ad covered Mother’s Day gift idea blogs searching for that one thing that expresses a year’s worth of love and appreciation, but also doesn’t cost more than 100 bucks. But I’m going to remind you of a little secret you knew when you were a kid, but may have forgotten since then. There’s one thing you can give your mom that’s better than any overpriced called kitsch from Etsy, better than any jewelry from a store with radio commercials you despise.

Even better than that lotion that smells like a thousand vanilla rainbows. It doesn’t matter if it’s macaroni glued to a paper in the shape of a kitten or brightly colored handprint next to a poem your teacher wrote for the thousandth time. Moms will always love the stuff their kids make. Or at least that’s what I’m banking on this year. Flowers are concomitant with Mother’s Day in spring, but I can’t make a flower, and even if I could, I probably wouldn’t because I don’t like to get made fun of. What I can make, and you probably already know this because it’s written in the title and shown in the thumbnail is a flower receptacle, a vase, and my wife wanted in on the fun, too. So actually two bases for two moms and we’ll include some spectrum to give them a splash of color. Segment segmented turning is really easy. It’s almost entirely cutting and gluing stuff I’ve been doing since kindergarten. Problem is, you have to do it about 400 times. If you’ve ever dreamed of working on an assembly line, doing the same repetitive task over and over again, then I’ve got a hobby for you. So we spent a number of evenings gluing the segments together, getting the bases ready to turn. This is date night at our house, wine and type pond, a dangerous combination. And I guess I wasn’t very accurate when I cut all the segments because I was having a lot of trouble getting them lined up. Right. I ended up doing a ton of sanding to get nice tight joints between everything, which I really don’t mind. It’s just part of the whole process. And you can look at it in two ways. Either it’s tedious and boring or it’s relaxing and mindful in Zen. And I’m not Buddhist, but I can see it both ways, depending on which glass of wine I’m on. I wanted to do segment advances because I don’t have the right tools to hollow out a tall vessel like a face, so I thought, well, if I do a segmented piece, it will start out hollow and I won’t have to worry about that. So I planned it all out and sized all my segments and went off to the shop to cut them. And while I was out there, like a good engineer, I decided to add a little more thickness to the segments just to make sure there would be enough wood to turn. And when I started putting the segments together into the frames, I realized that I didn’t have much of an opening in the middle anymore. And when I was doing the gluing, it dawned on me that I took this perfectly good board of Cherry. I cut it into a bunch of tiny pieces and then I proceeded to spend the next two weeks gluing all those pieces back together again. And I really didn’t have much to show for it, since these are still practically solid all the way through. Here’s how they go together. I realized later that I could just glue half of each face together and hollow it out that way and then put the two halves together to finish the base.

So I roughed each half out between centers. Then I put each half on a chuck and hollowed out the center with a force. Norbit and my wife helped put this. I know the cool thing to do is to have nice then walls and hollow forms, but I’m not exactly sure why. I think it’s just a matter of elegance and a show of tool control and technique. Well, I’m not at that level as a turner. And if I’m being honest, even though it might be a sign of my own ignorance and lack of taste, I like a piece to have some heft to it. When you hold it and pick it up, it just feels solid. This was my wife’s first time at the lathe, and I’ll show you how good of a teacher I am. Don’t worry, no one was hurt, so we glued the haves into a hole and remounted for final shaping. We did the outside first.

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