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Thread: Big Dilemma

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  1. #1

    Big Dilemma

    I had an idea for my next "stoppered bottle" that involves a specific "color scheme". The plan was to dye the form itself with a light "translucent" shade of the desired color and then do the lid/finial with a much deeper shade of the same color. But as I began to get into this piece of maple burl, the natural colors that emerged are pretty nice. And there is enough subtile variation that I'm afraid that even a light, translucent dye might kill the different tones. So now I'm trying to decide whether i should proceed with "the plan" or just leave this au natural. I have to decide soon because the lid/finial would probably not be made out of the same material I would use if I color it. Decisions, decisions…

    Here are some pics of the piece on the lathe. Still a lot of shaping to do and these are crappy, blurry cell phone pics. But even these show the colors in the wood pretty well.

    David DeCristoforo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Marietta, GA
    IMHO: You can "live to dye" another day, David. Go with the natural beauty while you have it spinning in front of you!
    Steve \o/
    WARNING: I spin pieces of wood at high rates of speed and poke at them with sharp things!

    Located 45 miles NNW of Russell Eaton & 365 miles S of John Keeton
    Jet 1642-EVS2 & Epilog Helix 35W

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Harvey, Michigan
    David - I like adding color to a lot of my work but I think the natural colors you have here would look great as is. Looking forward to seeing it once completed!

    “You never know what you got til it's gone!”
    Please don’t let that happen!
    Become a financial Contributor today!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Willow Spring, NC
    When in doubt, leave it. I prefer the natural warmth of wood, but if you're trying to accomplish something for a series of have to make that call. You know you'll turn beautiful pieces of wood again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Lakeland Florida
    David, I've got two gallons of wood bleach. Every time I go to turn some maple with the intention of bleaching and dying it, I get a piece that's like that. IMHO that's already got the depth of color, and contrast of grain patterns. It's a stunning piece, I wouldn't be able to do it... though maybe one day soon I will get over it. (hopefully before my bleach evaporates/ dyes dry up)
    “I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” ~ Albert Einstein

  6. #6
    blah let the bleach and dye curl up and dry unused , the wood has more than enough without any help just my 2 cents

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Spokane, Washington
    Hit it with mineral spirits or to bring out the existing colors and see what you think. I'd be inclined to save the dye for a more plain piece.

    Eternity is an awfully long time, especially toward the end.

    -Woody Allen-

    Critiques on works posted are always welcome

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Chicago Heights, Il.
    DON'T FOOL WITH MOTHER NATURE. Her color schemes are hard to beat.
    Member Illiana Woodturners

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Well, normally I'd be in the camp of let the natural beauty show...however, one only has to look at before and after of todays WoW cover by Andy DiPietrol to change that opinion. The subtleties and depth of the figure really popped after applying dye to the gorgeous pieces he started with.

    I say, you can't go wrong either way...and the color will make for a bolder piece. Look forward to seeing this piece come off!
    Laugh at least once daily, even if at yourself!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Bangor, PA
    I'm willing to wager you will find a color scheme that enhances the pink in the burl. It is pretty but so far, the colors and schemes you dye your pieces are a big enhancement to them. Either way, you will make it a beauty. Do you turn dry burl or turn twice. I'm curious since you are such a stickler for matching shape to your plan and thinking that unless the wood is almost perfectly dry, the shape will change anyway.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Escondido, CA
    I think you have uncovered a natural beauty. Maybe run with this one as it is.
    Veni Vidi Vendi Vente! I came, I saw, I bought a large coffee!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    I would be tempted to enhance the natural colors in a subtle manner with some dye, just don't get too carried away!

  13. #13
    If I do try dying this, I think the trick is going to be not so much getting the color right as getting the right level of translucence in the dye. I think if I can get that right, the variations in the wood tone should come through. I've been playing around with photoshop:

    David DeCristoforo

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Fort Collins, CO
    I guess I am thinking more of a "Marvin the Martian" rocket scheme when I look at this. You'll have to reshape the top a bit, but you're not too far off...

    Man advances just in proportion that he mingles thought with his labor. - Ingersoll

  15. #15
    I thinking that since there is still a lot of material to be removed, I will smooth this off now and try the color on it. The dye will be pretty light so if I don't like it, I can remove it as I bring the piece down to it's final shape.
    David DeCristoforo

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