I was planning on taking some photographs of my latest goodies last night, but it didn’t happen because Bob Mercer emailed me with the opportunity to buy some rather fantastic pieces of oak burr, which were just to good to let them pass by. So instead I took the pictures this evening.
The result is, by and large, anything but pleasing, for a variety of reasons.
Firstly they (almost) all look dull and bland. That’s probably a combination of things. For one, I am not sure I’ve found the best settings for my camera. But I suspect a more important reason is that at the moment I have to use a nicely ironed pillow case as a background, because I have not yet managed to locate the proper background cartons I bought for this purposes. And I do seem to remember that with them the pictures came out a whole lot more lively.
Secondly, some of them are not in focus. Entirely my fault, for not checking that the camera was actually focussing on the correct area.
But now we come to the really bad part, and that is my workmanship, or rather the lack thereof. It seems I have allowed my standards to slip, and that is not good. There are pictures that show sanding marks. Other pictures show imperfections in the application of colour, with small areas not being coloured, because I have allowed the sealer to cover them. THere are some small dents, almost invisible to the naked eye, but the pictures show them in all their glory. And the most disappointing of all is my art deco box. It is tricky in the extreme to get a completely even coverage of matt black on a turned item. But even trickier is it to get a nice termination of the black spray paint.
I used a low tack masking tape on the face of the lid, so that the inside including the rim would stay in natural wood. However, the spray paint decided that it wanted to crawl onto the masking tape ever so slightly, which then produced a sharp rim. Trying to smoothen that rim resulted in numerous problematic effects: in some areas the rim stayed sharp and even kept on it some parts of the nyweb I used for the smoothing. In other areas it smoothened unevenly and has now produce a slightly jagged edge, and in still other areas, some of the paint flaked off.
I tried to repair this with very carefully applied acrylic black paint. Alas, the photographs are merciless. It looks a right mess. I always knew that this box was more of a design study than an actual item that could be sold. The handle was a brilliant idea, but the way it did not sit flush on the lid was not so good, albeit uncurable by the time I was done.
So I suppose now it’s back to square one: no shortcuts, no rushing, practice, practice, practice. And rigorous examination before the finish is done. And as far as the art deco box is concerned, I will have to do this again, with a modified design, and most definitely a different way of cutting the slot for the handle and then applying the black paint.