Saturday, February 26, 2011

Free Stuff

Everybody loves free stuff, right? Especially free dye stuff!

DH has a tool with a curved blade that allows him to get a series of bowls (in decreasing sizes, one inside the other) out of one block of wood. Without this tool, the entire inside of the bowl becomes sawdust; with the tool, multiple usable bowls and much less sawdust.) He demonstrated the tool at his woodturning club meeting a few weeks ago, and since then we have had a steady stream of woodturners dropping by to have DH help them turn their wood blocks into multiple bowls instead of just one.

Today's visitor had a block of cocobolo, a relatively expensive hardwood from Mexico and Central America. The chunk he started with probably cost $100. For obvious reasons, he wanted to maximize his return on investment - each cocobolo bowl can sell for a lot more than that. I scavenged the small amount of sawdust and chips that ended up on the floor:

Some of it is now in a jar with denatured alcohol to extract the color. I suspect it will produce a color similar to a madder orange. I've used cocobolo as a dye source before, but it was a much darker piece of wood and produced a beautiful deep russet brown. This is somewhat paler wood, and will consequently make a lighter, more orange color.

Hmmm. Some visuals about the bowls would be a good idea. I didn't get a chance to snap any pictures of the visitor's cocobolo bowls, but here's a set of elm bowls that DH is working on. The largest bowl (still unfinished - he's testing several different finishes, which will be applied after a final sanding) is big - about 14.5 inches (37 cm) in diameter:

These 4 bowls, still in rough form, came out of the center of the biggest bowl:

Sort of like those handpainted Russian and Japanese dolls that come apart to reveal a smaller version inside, and another inside that, and so on...


Laura Fry said...

How very cool. And inventive. And 'green'. :)


Dolores Quilts said...

Very interesting post. Can't wait to see how the dye turns out!

neki desu said...

ohh! just the name sends chills down my spine.the color of madder without its predicaments.

Ruth said...

Weavers need a tool like that. Something that turns thrums into ever smaller versions of whatever the thrums came from in the first place. You start with a shawl. Then you have a scarf. And finally, you have a bookmark.

Could you get Mike to work on such an invention? :)