View Full Version : Rutilus Flamma!

John Keeton
08-03-2011, 10:08 AM
Double D throws around those Latin names all the time, and since I can't produce the level of quality and pizzazz that he does, I thought using a Latin title for this one might elevate the turning somewhat!!:o:rolleyes: The translation would be The Red Flame - a much more fitting title for this hillbilly!

This was another dye experiment on curly maple. The piece was dyed black and sanded back with the exception of the beaded rim, which was left black.

I then airbrushed yellow dye from the top to the shoulder, decreasing the intensity as I went down. After the yellow dried, I turned the piece over and airbrushed bright red up and over the shoulder, again decreasing the amount of dye as I went upward. The hope was a fade from red - orange - yellow. However, the red dye is much more intense than is the yellow, and overpowers it quickly. Were I to attempt this again, I would ease off the red much quicker. There is barely any red on the top of the lid, yet it nearly killed the yellow.

Live and learn!!

Finish is a few coats of spray shellac to set the dye, wet sanded with MS, and 4-5 coats of satin WOP, wet sanded back with 600, and triple buffed with Ren wax. Dimensions are 5"w x 6.5"t, and the walls are just under 1/8". The interior is dyed black, with no finish. I did sand out the interior to 400grit, and lightly sanded again with 400 after the dye application (water based black dye.) Ended up with a very nice interior, and although a little of the lighter color of the maple shows through in a couple of spots (both on the interior and underside of the lid) I kind of like the transparency vs. opaque black.

The finial is African Blackwood, sanded out to 2,000 and Ren wax. The neck on this finial is just over .05" in thickness.

The form is a little different, but I hope some of you like it. Again, I am out in the woods here, and doing my own thing. I have retreated significantly from viewing the works of others in hope of reaching my inner self for inspiration. We will see how that works!

Steve Schlumpf
08-03-2011, 10:20 AM
I like it John! Love the rich colors, the curly coming through and the unique form! Reminds me a little of a pagoda on the top half and the organic HF has a great natural shape to it! The curve in that portion reminds me of a bag of sand or a water balloon!

Pretty cool work! Looking forward to seeing what's next!

Cathy Schaewe
08-03-2011, 10:22 AM
I would note that "rutilus" is also the name for certain types of fish, also known more commonly as "roaches." Not to cast any aspersions, mind you, because I think this piece is beautiful. I really like the way it flows. It reminds me of pictures of minarets on churches in the middle east, particularly Turkey. Not that I've been there. I'll be interested to see how your experiment of not looking so much at others' work turns out -

Russell Eaton
08-03-2011, 10:31 AM
John, that is a great looking piece. The form looks very original, I take it that is what you were looking for. I think you killed it with the name, it looks like flames. Great job once again.

Scott Lux
08-03-2011, 10:32 AM
I keep going back to the third pic (2.jpg) and I love it. This is just an amazing dye job on a fantastic form. Well done, sir.

Bernie Weishapl
08-03-2011, 10:42 AM
John that is beautiful. Really a nice, pleasing form and the dye really sets it off.

Roger Chandler
08-03-2011, 11:05 AM
Very interesting piece, John..........I can see Steve's pagoda reference......the finial and the lid has faint hints of that style, while what her Honor, Ms. Schaewe, notices a bit of the mid eastern arabic shapes.........I also see that as well. The form is unique and of course your finish is always top notch.........the coloration in my opinion would have been great if it had gone the full 360 degrees around the form [more of the yellow and orange]

If this is what is in your inner self..........I am wondering what has influenced you..........the shapes that somehow got planted in ones mind over decades of living life..........they must to some degree inform what we create.........that would be true of any turner..........I find that aspect facinating to say the least.

Trips to the far east, or middle east, or documentaries we have seen on those areas...........pictures in books.......art we have been exposed to..............

Finding a point of inspiration from all those possible influences [and others which I have not mentioned] and then being able to put your finger on it, and identify it as the reason you made the form you did..............I would say that is going to be a hard part of your quest for knowing why you do what you do in creating this and other forms you will do in the future...........hummmmn...........just thinking.......

Let me know when you can say this is what inspired me, and maybe you will have come up with your signature style.........happy hunting John..........very nice work on this.........very nice indeed!

Steve Kennedy
08-03-2011, 11:12 AM
WOW!! That is some great work!! Very impressive.

Dick Wilson
08-03-2011, 11:12 AM
Hi John, I LIKE it!!! Great form and beautiful effect. Try this some time. Use a black gel stain for your base color on curly maple. Use gel instead of penetrating stain. Sand back leaving a lot of the maple bare with a hint of the black. Air brush with several dyes....yellow, green, burgandy, etc. I am looking forward to seeing some of you work in Ohio.

charlie knighton
08-03-2011, 11:59 AM
very nice, i agree with Kathy,
pictures of minarets on churches in the middle east, it does flow from base thru finial.

keep reaching

Paul Williams
08-03-2011, 12:08 PM
The form doesn't do much for me, probably my lack of taste, but I really like the color and the way the dye makes the curly stand out.

Scott Hackler
08-03-2011, 12:18 PM
John, I congratulate you on your current voyage in the form experimentation. You, like myself, are searching for that "new form". This is a good example of your journey, because it differs so much from your previous work and yet the combination of skills you aquired while producing those previous forms, were needed to execute this new form. I like the darker coloring and although it wasn't what you had envisioned, it turned out very nice. The shape of a fat bottom form appeals to me and I have turned a few forms that were "fat bottomed". I like the fact that you left the hangover lip on the lid. This form needed a break point at the lid.

To offer a critique I would say that there isn't much to offer as a negative. I dont think the shape of the lid is "quite right" but I am unsure if a stronger cove or a domed lid would appeal more. Hard to say.

Very nice work. Now hurry up and get the next one done so we can see it! :)

Harry Robinette
08-03-2011, 12:37 PM
Looks good John, love the form and the dye ,really nice.

David DeCristoforo
08-03-2011, 12:37 PM
The coloring is awesome! I really like the form but I would love to see a domed lid that continued the upward sweep at the top of the form. The finial is beautiful. Overall a very nice piece of work...

Ed Morgano
08-03-2011, 1:05 PM
I thought DD was throwing around Italian names, but what do I know. I barley speak English. Anyway, I digress..... The piece is beautiful. I love the color and the form and it surely would make DD proud.

John Keeton
08-03-2011, 1:34 PM
Thanks, guys and gal! I did enjoy making this piece - the wood was a pleasure to work, and hollow, and finishing it was easy. When the frustrating parts are minimized, seems the creativity works better.

Ed, one would think that a little Latin would be familiar to me, but unless it came out of a part of the law - wouldn't know it from German!! I have to look up Double D's titles when he posts them! But, I am guessing that Latin, being the language of Rome, might be pretty close to Italian?!?!? Both are Greek to me!!:D

If this is what is in your inner self..........I am wondering what has influenced you..........the shapes that somehow got planted in ones mind over decades of living life..........they must to some degree inform what we create.........that would be true of any turner..........I find that aspect fascinating to say the least.Roger, it seems to me that we turn what we are, and we are what we turn. We become an amalgamation of all to which we have been exposed, and I am trying very hard to let that take me down this path. Like I commented previously, while at AAW, it became quite apparent that I had done what we all do - mimic the work of others. That is fun, one learns a lot in the process, and there certainly is nothing wrong with that. But, it just doesn't fit into where I want to go with this.

You folks will just need to bear with me and withstand the bad, and enjoy the good!:o It is my hope the good will outweigh the bad.

I don't think the shape of the lid is "quite right" but I am unsure if a stronger cove or a domed lid would appeal more.

...but I would love to see a domed lid that continued the upward sweep at the top of the form.
Here is the scoop on the lid! In my sketching for this piece, I did include a domed lid early on. But, that does exactly as you said, David, it "continues the form" and, at least to me, that threw off the proportions. The "belly" looked way too low. It also left the piece with a bit of a phalic appearance that I did not care for at all.

I have included my final sketch, with some notes that I included for another creeker. It shows my feeble attempts at scaling this piece, and provides a little insight into how I view a turning. Probably all wrong, but at least now you all know how I do things wrongly!!

Tim Thiebaut
08-03-2011, 2:05 PM
Well done John, I love the colors in this piece, I wish I could draw something up in advance as you do, just havnt had much luck with that up till now.

Russ Denz
08-03-2011, 2:07 PM
+1 on the balloon, +1 on the minaret, i.e. middle eastern influence, and +10 on John Keeton's journey into his inner self (can't be more objective than that). You've found a beautiful place inside; stay there and let it take you even farther, but beware of second-guessing yourself. A rather refreshing change, imho.

Michael Mills
08-03-2011, 2:13 PM
Looks really great to me John.
Thanks for posting the drawing also. The proportions are nice but I really like the note “fair curve touches all protrusions”. As you can tell I know nothing of art/design….or Latin, glad the title did not translate to something about a rats butt on fire.

steven carter
08-03-2011, 2:15 PM
Very nice John! The colors may not have been what you saw in you mind, but I thnk they are quite striking! Bottom reminds me of a Hershey's kiss.


Sid Matheny
08-03-2011, 2:31 PM
Well I have to say I love it as it is. Don't see any way to make it any better!


Roger Chandler
08-03-2011, 2:59 PM
Roger, it seems to me that we turn what we are, and we are what we turn. We become an amalgamation of all to which we have been exposed, and I am trying very hard to let that take me down this path.


Your response to my comments begged another question, or set of questions in my mind.........if indeed as you say "we turn what we are and are what we turn" as you have said, then would not this journey be a search of a way to being able to express ourselves? Of course I think the struggle is to be able to first find, and release from within, our "best selves."

Is this truly the quest of an artist.....finding a way to release the true soul within? That would differ for the true artist Vs. the person who just likes the craft for the sake of the craft.

Occasionally, in all mediums one might run across a piece of art in which the artist has revealed not their best self, but perhaps some of the worst of themselves.........i.e. some abstract art that I think show the convoluted nature of primal human depravity. [I could site some examples, but I will, in the interest of decorum and civility, not do that to the readers here]

Are the pieces we turn simply steps up the stairway we climb until the time we can release the true inner soul in an artistic expression?

Hey everybody.........I don't mean to be so esoteric :eek: that we lose sight of the practical........I am a thinker, and have always been one who likes to study why we do the things we do.........it is a quest on my part for understanding..........art is a great study on the human condition and expression. Thanks for your indulgence, John and everyone else! :)

Ed Morgano
08-03-2011, 3:08 PM
You made my head hurt with that last post. :D

Fred Belknap
08-03-2011, 3:08 PM
John I don't know anything about art but this piece is pleasant to look at.

John Keeton
08-03-2011, 3:12 PM
Roger, for some, I think your comments hold true. I don't want to leave the impression that "this path" is for every turner. While I still know very few turners on a personal level, it seems that many of the ones I do know, turn for reasons far different than mine. Some folks turn because it is therapeutic, some turn to produce utilitarian pieces to fill a need - for themselves and others, some turn to test themselves, and I am sure there are some that turn and have never given thought as to why other than it is fun. All of those are valid reasons.

For me, it seems to be different - and, difficult to explain. I have always had a need to accomplish something - call it "type A", OCD, or whatever label one wants to place on it. With flatwork, it included tight hand cut dovetails, working with handplanes, original designs for furniture pieces, and so on.

It was much the same with turning. I felt a need early on to accomplish tool control, then a need to accomplish finishing, then a need to learn "good form", etc. While I still have much to learn in all those areas, I at least reached a modicum of turning skills.

So, what now? Do I just continue to strive for better control, better finishing, better form - or, is there more? Yes to all of those, but for me, there is more - I just need to discover what it is. For others, the quest may be much different.

Different strokes for different folks. I don't proclaim that we all have to travel down the same path - that would be rather boring, I suspect!

Roger Chandler
08-03-2011, 3:15 PM
You made my head hurt with that last post. :D

Sorry Ed......:rolleyes:;)

Tim Rinehart
08-03-2011, 3:16 PM
Beautiful work John. You really know how to make that figure pop...and the departure from norm still produced a winner. The comments about the pagoda-like finial are right on, I like studying how they are all the same form, but scaled down and stretched progressively to the top. I think that's a nice form. I was looking at a current issue of Woodturning that talks about spindle design, and it's truly the most challenging when it comes to finial design, especially if trying to do something a little different. You certainly know what you're doing with regards to good finial design, as do DD and others...something we all need more practice in.
I will say I'm encourage to see this...I have a piece of mimosa with similar shape in rough form...been staring at it in corner of my shop deciding when I want to rechuck it up... may be sooner than I thought.
Well done execution, as usual for you. Good luck with your digging into yourself part of current journey...we all look forward to what you come up with next.

Roger Chandler
08-03-2011, 3:20 PM
So, what now? Do I just continue to strive for better control, better finishing, better form - or, is there more? Yes to all of those, but for me, there is more - I just need to discover what it is.

Bravo!!! As I said earlier.........happy hunting John! I don't know what it is exactly for myself either...........I am pursuing........what.... I am not exactly sure, but I think I will know it when I find it, obtain it, and master it!

Faust M. Ruggiero
08-03-2011, 5:07 PM
I like the form but love the finish. Rich coloring and amazing depth. Yet another winner.

Harvey Ghesser
08-03-2011, 5:20 PM
Very beautiful, John....

Steve Vaughan
08-03-2011, 5:27 PM
What a great piece! Loving your creativity with these things. Love the shape and love the colors!

Donny Lawson
08-03-2011, 5:42 PM
John, I must have overlooked this Amazing piece eariler but it is beautiful. The lines from the curl and the dye make this piece outstanding and a one of a kind.

David E Keller
08-03-2011, 5:54 PM
I really like this piece, John! The coloring is beautiful, but the form is what I most enjoy... I love the cascading coves the form the upper portion of the form. The finial is also one of favorites that you've shown as well. Enjoy the 'path'... I'll enjoy viewing the fruits of your labor!

Jim Burr
08-03-2011, 6:14 PM
I'd guess with 32 responses...you hardly need mine, but...the finish is really cool, but couldn't you have acheived the same result with sanding to 800 with a ROS and the same finish? Color/dye is well done. If you need finials, this one works. Squat bottom forms aren't usually well received, but for a urn shape it works.

Jeff Nicol
08-03-2011, 6:18 PM
John, Well I am not so sure yet about the black first and then adding the dye's after. I feel that something is lost in the darkness and over powers on the end grain sides. I do like the dyes and how they work together and if the darkest color was more clear to allow all the curl to show more as each dye is added. Just a thought, but I do love the top and finial and the main form is a good form, but I am not sure at the height of the neck portion and how the top meets it. The "Pagoda" look would need to be wider at the base of the top with a slight undercut on the top to give a shadow line or feel of it setting down over the base. To me the top looks like it belongs on a German lidded stien, so now that I have picked it all apart for you, the finish is wonderful!

Roger, I am not sure what we could say that would ever make perfect sense or why we do the shapes and styling of what we turn. Since I never draw a sketch there is never a pre-concieved notion of what it should be when it is done. I just let it happen and what I see in the wood is what determines where it takes me. This lets me be free to change when change happens and I am not dissapointed if I can't follow the sketch. Artist find inspiration where ever it is, and it can change in a moment or with time or with emotions etc.

I am a thinker too, but I wonder and dream and let life happen and not overthink things, to me that is much easier. One day at a time and no pressure lends itself to free thought and unbridled stimulus when it is in front of me.

Art can be a personal statement that is hated by all, but is the freedom of the artists soul to soar to inner satisfaction and accomplishment.

My thoughts,


Gary Conklin
08-03-2011, 6:19 PM
John, I must admit that at first look, and even prior to reading Steves post my thought was pogoda, but now with my second looksie: I see a circus tent! This piece is very interesting, I like it. The colors really pop. Well done!

Alan Trout
08-03-2011, 6:28 PM
John, that is pretty dang cool I like the shape.


Roger Chandler
08-03-2011, 8:33 PM
Interesting thoughts Jeff.............I like spontaneity as well as planning............I have done it both ways.....for me the most satisfying is when I pull of a plan and it turns out well. I find planning ahead, especially with new techniques required to pull something off, makes me stretch myself and makes me a better turner...........there have been times when I have made mistakes during the process, and that is what really teaches me a lesson!

Curt Fuller
08-03-2011, 10:06 PM
Sorry, I can't comment in Latin, but this is muy hermoso! I really like the form and the tall and delicate finial looks great with it. I think the dye job is spectacular too. This is one of my favorites of your work John.

Kathy Marshall
08-03-2011, 11:49 PM
John, I really like this piece! As always, your finish is outstanding! I like the form as it is, including the shape of the lid and the overhang. The colors are just WOW! and I really like how it accentuates the curl. Fantastic piece!

Michelle Rich
08-04-2011, 5:58 AM
this piece is just stunning. Your new journey will be marvelous for those of us who get to come along for the ride.The name: Red Flame is good enuf for this flatland hillbilly! Remember to enjoy the work as you are doing it. Don't forget that!

Jerry Rhoads
08-04-2011, 7:43 AM
Oooh! This is a very nice piece John, begging to be held. I like how the colors came together. A lot of work on the finish, but it was worth it.
It is a great piece from bottom to tip.
Hmmm, you didn't have one of those gray squaty ice bags around the house when you were younger, did you? oh,oh that gave me an idea about carving ripples on a shape similar to this, just have to get time.

Thanks for showing this great piece

John Keeton
08-04-2011, 9:12 AM
Many thanks to all who commented - and, simply took the time to look! I hope you will tolerate me as I travel down this path. It will be interesting to see where it leads.

Kurt Barker
08-04-2011, 9:35 AM
Bellus! :-)

Scott Flamm
08-05-2011, 8:42 AM
Rutilus, That could be a good name (my wife is expecting).:D Maybe I'll run it by her- Rutilus Flamm.:D;) Also, John the piece is beautiful.

Randy Gleckler
08-05-2011, 9:32 AM
That is some amazing depth of color and the shape/form is just stunning. Nice work

mike ash
08-05-2011, 10:05 AM
John - Lots of comments from the gang here and they all seem to think you need to continue with your great work here. The favorite part of this for me is the finiale. It a masterpiece.

Great work, Mike Ash

Michael James
08-05-2011, 7:20 PM
That kickus buttus! That's desertbilly for right on dude.....most excellent piece!
Seriously beautiful piece and the finish looks flawless. Keep em coming and build that portfolio - I hear retirement calling....
ps - at one time I could recite the catholic mass in latin, but what I remember would probably not be applicable.....

John Keeton
08-05-2011, 9:08 PM
Thanks, again, guys! And, MJ, much of this "following my muse" thing might be your fault! If I sink with it, I am taking you with me.:D

Rutilus, That could be a good name (my wife is expecting).:D Maybe I'll run it by her- Rutilus Flamm.:D;) Also, John the piece is beautiful.Scott, that might work - not sure the nicknames would be too great, though!! And, if you end up with a girl, you may want to consider Rutilia - much more feminine!:rolleyes:

Rick Markham
08-05-2011, 9:21 PM
I Really like it John. The finial is spectacular. I think your being hypercritical on the dye job, it achieved the effect maybe even better than if it had turned out as intended. I've been playing with dye :) I haven't had the nerve to use it on one of my pieces yet. Soon, I think :)