Mother's Day Save! =)

 My wonderful wife!! She has been a tremendous help and encouragement this past year particularly as we dove into getting this business off the ground! This year on Mother's Day, I managed to actually  surprise her with a very special and unique Mother's Day gift.

I don't want to speak for all you men out there, but I tend to take my wife for granted and not show my love and appreciation to her enough. So, I wanted to do something extra special for her this Mother's Day that was not the traditional flowers or breakfast in bed. Plus, being the procrastinator that I am, it was too late to buy or really setup anything! =) Someone once told me that inside every woodworker and artist there is a procrastinators soul! So true! At least I am in good company. =) So...I decided to make something myself. At first the idea was just a vase; then that evolved into a vase and flowers....15 hours of turning.... and one huge last minute save, if I say so myself! =) 

The vase was turned from White Ash; the flowers were turned from Mulberry, Russian Olive, Hard Maple and Poplar. I know Poplar isn't the turner's favorite, but this particular piece looks like stone... Almost like Alabaster. 

Each stem was turned separately from green wood; some Hickory and some Silver Maple. I turned them from green wood so I could bend them to shape easier. After turning them, I wrapped each stem in wet paper towel and microwaved it for one minute. After taking them out of the microwave I bent and held them in place until they cooled. Why not just put them in some kind of jig to cool you ask? Well,... If I would have been thinking ahead, I would have had at least some kind of form to hold them in, but I didn't think of it until I was bending the first stem. Holding the stem in position with my hands in the freezer did speed things up a bit 'tho =)

The flowers, I turned on a bottle stopper mandrel. That way there was already a hole dead center of the flower for me to insert the stem.

To make the vase more versatile, I didn't want to permanently glue the flower stems into the vase. I turned a little cup the size of the bottom of the vase and then glued the stems into the cup.  That way the flowers could be taken out at any time without it loosing the shape.

This was a very rewarding project!  Your opinions and feedback welcomed!

Upon A Lathe,

Dan 

 

Voila... Totally removable!

Hard Maple

Russian Olive with natural edge.

Mulberry

Russian Olive

Poplar with burned edges.