16 November, 2009
Intro to Woodturning: or How I'm Learning to Love the Lathe
See that? Please shed a tear for me, because that is the last photo I'm going to take with my beloved, long-term digital camera, the Sony Cybershot. Bought in Summer 2006 and carted around to South East Asia and Ukraine (not to mention my myriad adventures Stateside), this little camera has lived in a Gillette razor zipper bag that Kenny sort of tossed at me three and a half years ago when I said I needed a camera case. It was working fine on Friday when I took pictures of my papermaking loot, but today when I went to document my wood turning teacher at the lathe, it wouldn't focus. Which actually, sidenote, is totally appropriate given the subject matter, because today my understanding of woodturning was exactly as blurry as the photo above. At first I thought, hey, good job capturing my internal landscape, little Cybershot. But then it wouldn't focus at all, ever again, finis. Luckily I am often the recipient of my father's hand-me-down electronics. I am blessed with a rarity, for someone my age: my Dad actually not only digs but really goes after new technology. He can also be a little ADD about getting new stuff (I say it with love, Dad) so he is upgrading more than the average user, in general. This means I have his "old" camera waiting for a day just as this (it's better than the one I had until today), and I shall retrieve it when I'm in Williamsburg for a hot second on my way to Northern climes. Goodbye, little Cybershot. You will be sorely missed, especially when I'm trying to learn the ins and outs of my new one. P.S., what the hell do you do with broken electronics? I cannot throw Gillette Cybershot Globetrotter away. We've shared too much.
Anyway, this week I am obviously in wood turning. Photographs of the rest of this week shall be brought to you by my iPhone. Here we have what I managed, with lots and lots of help, to turn today:
It is a bud vase, meaning it has a hole on top but the bottom is solid (thank GOD.) This took me all day. It is very difficult.
Hmm, what to say at this point... it was Monday, also known here at the Folk School as International Frustration Day, celebrated by those of us who are in class as beginners. I am this week's only beginning woodturner (yipee!) which means I naturally demand lots of extra attention from my instructor, a hilarious Mormon from (where else?) Utah, who is both incredibly talented and a very good teacher. A brilliant combination, I must say. He is usually pretty good at coming over when I have made a terrible noise, either with my mouth or with the lathe, and patiently explains again about bevels and angles and uphills and downhills and sharpening tools and rotating the shaft. Heh. Also, I think it's important to say that what I know about Mormons I learned from reading Dooce, which is like someone saying they know about Ukrainians because they have seen Everything is Illuminated. By this I mean, I have a limited but probably somewhat accurate understanding of Mormons, and they are awesome. I ran an errand for my teacher tonight and bought two half gallons of ice cream ("anything with chocolate and nuts, but no marshmallows") and several 12-packs of soda. Ahh yes, the soda thing. I remember reading about that.
In other news, the Folk School and its grounds have been particularly beautiful lately... check it:
Cold misty morning while on a little jog
Ringing the dinner bell at twilight: my point of view
at 11:28 PM