Many of my more intricate turnings are based on paper designs, and sometimes it takes several drawings before I get the proportions right. The final product is then the result of implementing the design as close as possible to the drawing.

There are however other things I make, where the path is completely different. I have whole shelves full of half-turned or finish turned items awaiting some final decoration or colouring or what not. Many of these will remain on these shelves for another month or two or maybe even a year, until I feel inspired to do something with them.

This shallow bowl or dish is one of those that I have actually finished. Made from rippled sycamore, with a very classical, simple, elegant shape, a few beads as decoration on the rim, and some blue and gold accents to frame the actual bowl in the centre. None of this was planned or designed, it just happened.

This dish is about 14″ diameter and stands about 3″ tall. The colour is textile dye, with a 2 layer approach for the gold accents (fontenay base and warm gold paint on top), all sealed with 2 coats of acrylic spray lacquer.

As I get more experienced with my turning and decoration skills, I feel more and more torn between these two paths, the inspirational free-wheeling and the controlled design approach. Both have their advantages and allures, challenges and shortcomings.

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