December 2015 Holiday Meeting and Pollyanna Exhange

Joe Seltzer brought in some of his favorite weed pot examples to give us a notion of what constitutes a traditional weed pot. Paraphrasing Joe, weed pots are on the craft end of wood art, generally not the best piece of wood, sometimes from the firewood pile.  They have a natural look to them, don't take long to make, and, of course, they need a small hole to hold a flower or two.

Joe's pieces, in the order shown below, are by jewelry maker and turner, Judy Ditmer, Rude Osolnik, Bruce Bernson, and David Sengel.  The fifth piece is a turning that Joe made.  Now it's time to see how our members interpreted this form! 

Here are the Pollyanna wranglers. Bryan Richardson and Joyce and John McCullough accepted the wrapped Pollyannas and got the event organized. And a special thank you to Tom Hauber for the candid photograph shown here.

Bryan got things started off by having Andy Postlewaite select a number and collect the corresponding gift. Andy selected Mike Tanner's weed pot. According to Mike, he had some help from some bugs to texture the surface with their form of hieroglyphics.

Mike Tanner, in turn, selected Al McCarty's piece. Al's piece was made from a kneeler from church and a borrowed bracelet. It wasn't clear that the church or the bracelet owner knew of Al's endeavors! Al got Ted Middleman's piece, a naturalistic Birch turning adorned with a live Christmas cactus. Nice touch, Ted!

Ted received Jim Beckwith's two for one! On the far end of the spectrum of Joe's definition, Jim turned a nice piece of spalted Walnut, and included a sea urchin and ebony ornament- just for the heck of it. Hey, it was Christmas time!

Up next for giving was Dave Giffen. His tall linear form (the weed pot) was accentuated by a single piece of dried Queen Anne's Lace. Mike Conner returned the favor with a peach of a turning- it was made from Peach. That blue streak is sidewalk chalk and epoxy-clever.

Mike got his Pollyanna from Matt Overton. Matt was originally aiming for a  Litton Frank-style double-spouted "wedding vase" and was well on his way. But when his piece went flying across the shop,  a design change was in order. With a little inspiration from a glass sculpture, and expert use of tinted spray lacquer, Matt made an excellent recovery. Indeed! Andy then presented Matt with a nicely turned Yew weed pot that shows some sapwood and a natural edge, echoing Joe Seltzer's notion of a naturalistic weed pot. 

Here's the other end of the spectrum, Jim Bachelor's red stained Maple weed pot supported on ebonized Holly legs with white Holly pins. Tom Hauber took things a step further from naturalistic by using Colorwood. Note his clever use of the wood in two orientations.

Bil Sticker went to the fire wood pile for the piece Tom Gall received. After he microwaved it to kill off any creepy crawlies, Bill turned a handsome spout, and left the base in it's weather-worn state. Nice contrast in form and finish. Joyce McCullough then presented Bil with her vessel made from spalted Ambrosia Maple- lucky Bil!

Here's another pot that fits well with Joe's definition. Phil Hauser rescued this piece from his "kindling bin" and then expertly turned  this holey  piece on two sides- quite a challenge, but what a reward. Joe then presented Phil with his turning. And it had those two important hallmarks- it had a small hole and was made, according to Joe, from "sad" wood. Isn't is amazing, though, that with a little form, that sad piece of wood gets transformed into something that we all admire. Well said and done, Joe. 

As usual, Litton Frank brought an amazing piece to the party to give to Joe (remember his tractor from 2013?). His weed pot was made from a pine cone, impregnated with tinted epoxy, and Brazilian Cherry. Under the right lighting, you can see that it is beautifully translucent. 

That's me (Ward) giving Litton a kind of large (not by Nate's standards) weed pot and Litton wondering where he's going to put it! The piece has nice memories attached to it- wrestling big pieces of silver maple with Bill Ludlow and Bud Hohlfeld at Bud's former place in Blue Bell. It has a small hole, so I think it still qualifies as a weed pot. I then received a fantastic piece from Tom Gall- a double sided mandala on a textured and ebonizedbase.  I couldn't be happier!

Jim Ruocco then presented his piece to Nancy Rourke. He found this piece of Cherry that was being strangled by a vine. Rather than turn that feature away, Jim highlighter it and created a piece with a lot of interest. Jim then received a piece from Steve Hillerman. His offset turning is styled after a honey dipper- very creative! 

The ever prolific Ron Durr lived up to his reputation- Steve got two of his pieces. A weed pot from a split Oak piece and his trademark inside out ornament- you may remember his mini-How demonstration where he showed us how he makes these. Linford Sine continued the split wood theme with the piece he presented to Ron- this time in weathered Cherry. Magi Bob Crowe then gave Linford the gift of gold, incense and myrrh. The painted Paulownia vessels were capped with Sycamore tops and presented on a Walnut base.

Bryan Richardson turned this Ash weed pot for Bob as a cone which he then segmented and reassembled. Black gesso highlights the grain of the wood, and is topped by a lacquer finish. Nancy Rourke then presented Bryan with an elegant two axis turned weed pot made with Maple and contrasting Brazilian Cherry.

Finally, Bud Hohfeld and Ed Ryan exchanged with each other. Ed made this series of painted weed pots from double sided face-plate turnings. Bud made his natural edge from spalted box elder- he literally wrote the book on how to make these. It's a beautiful piece and great way to cap a fun evening!