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Totally embarrassed

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gus3049

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Lets see..... I've been turning now for around two years.

When I started it all seemed pretty easy. You bung the wood on this metal thingy, poke it with some other metal thingies and then flog it to anyone who gets lucky.

I have just found a box of turnings from my early period, some of them had price stickers on the bottom.

If I had placed such a sticker on such a piece of work now, I would probably throw myself off the nearest very high place. There is one word that comes to mind. Its total c r a p. You could cut yourself on some of the finish, if such a word is applicable. How I thought that it could be worth any small sum from another persons stash, I can't imagine.

There is only one thing that makes me feel that I was right to carry on. Some of the shapes I achieved were very pretty. I had a play today to see if there was a way to rescue any of it. Out of about twenty lumps of roundish wood there were only two that stood any chance at all, the rest are back on the firewood pile from whence they probably came.

One sweet little holly bowl still had the socket on it and so I re-turned it and removed the socket (I do occasionally) and a totally wierd goblet was made out of what I think is spalted poplar, still had a useable spigot, even if it wasn't particularly round. It was only hollowed out about half way down. It is now a small pot.

I actually quite like them now.

Anyone else had this experience or did you all just fall into the excellence you all now display as if you were born to it?
 

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woodyturner

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I still had one of my early turnings up till I moved 10 months ago and I must say it was a real embarrassment but also it showed me just how far I had come in my 20 odd years of turning but it did end up being dumped it was totally ugly but I was so proud when I first made it just goes to prove the old saying practice makes perfect Im still practicing LOL
 

KimG

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Oh I have been there, I made a chess set (commisioned) for a friend, he was delighted with it, at the time so was I, I had just started out, but I thought it looked pretty good. Some 5 years later I went round for a meal (I hasten to add we did meet a little more often!) and he said "Let's have a game", emptying the box I was appalled at the rounded oversanded nature of the pieces, they looked so bad I refused to let him put them back afterwards and completely remade the set to a much better standard, mind you that was 15 years ago, and he is in Ireland now so I imagine I might feel the same way about the replacement set! It is at least nice to be able to measure your progress though.
 

inaspin

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I have a problem in as much as we have quite a few of my early disasters about the house that my wife adamantly refuses to get rid of and they are awful, she says she loves them because i made them. I think what she remembers is my enthusiasm when, proudly presenting her with my latest creation but to look at now they make your eyes hurt.

Out in the workshop i have numerous though not perfect but much better examples, which she won't have in because we have enough already.
I can't seem to get her to understand that i just want to swap some over, you would think i was trying to swap one of the kids for a kitten such is the pained look on her face.

What makes it worse is that she never tires of showing off my abilities when ever we have visiters which only serves to make me cringe, is there any way out of this situation any advice gratefully received.

Berns
 

tekno.mage

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I'm not embarrassed by my early turnings - indeed I've kept the very first bowl I ever made, not because it's a nice shape (it isn't - but it's very functional), not because the finish is any good (it's not too bad, but it's not great either) - but mainly because it's made of a piece of highly spalted (= extremely punky) sycamore and shows my sheer ignorant determination in continuing with a piece of rotten fire wood that most sensible turners would not have put anywhere near a lathe! Had I known what I was doing I would have started learning with a nice clean piece of wood in the first place!

Aside from that, most of my early turnings were claimed by friends - who still use and love them. I've recently been selling work through a local craft shop, mainly craft tools like drop spindles, crochet hooks, knitting pins etc, plus some lightpulls and my threaded lid boxes. The guy in the craft shop asked if I had any bowls and platters I could let him have, so I took in what I had which were mainly made in my first year of woodturning. I didn't really like any of them much as most had typical beginner-turner faults so was astonished when they all sold at the prices he'd suggested and I'd thought somewhat high!

I've since made him more bowls & platters that I am much happier with and they also sell quite well. There is no accounting for the customer's taste - I think there are people out there who go more for the visual appeal of the grain of the wood than they do for the aesthetic appeal of a shape! There are also people out there who will buy pieces because they are made of a particular type of wood. I've sold every lightpull I've ever made, but the boxwood ones always sell first - usually to men.
 

KimG

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Put dates on the bases and make sure there are some newer pieces around so people can see your improvement.
 

gus3049

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inaspin":2ezdu5l0 said:
I have a problem in as much as we have quite a few of my early disasters about the house that my wife adamantly refuses to get rid of and they are awful, she says she loves them because i made them. I think what she remembers is my enthusiasm when, proudly presenting her with my latest creation but to look at now they make your eyes hurt.

Out in the workshop i have numerous though not perfect but much better examples, which she won't have in because we have enough already.
I can't seem to get her to understand that i just want to swap some over, you would think i was trying to swap one of the kids for a kitten such is the pained look on her face.

What makes it worse is that she never tires of showing off my abilities when ever we have visiters which only serves to make me cringe, is there any way out of this situation any advice gratefully received.

Berns
Swapping the kids for a kitten sounds good.

Or you could remake the turnings one by one and hope she doesn't notice.

At least it shows she loves you :D
 

Tazmaniandevil

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I have kept all of my early stuff. It's either still in use, or in a bag in the shed. One day, I will remake them and see whether there is any difference. lol
 

monkeybiter

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A few weeks ago we went to Cornwall for a wedding and stayed with my brother-in-law in his ancient cottage [think hell on earth]. I've got quite a poor memory and was pleasantly surprised to see he still uses a Mahogany change dish I had made as one of my earliest turnings. It wasn't so pleasant when I picked it up, the finish is non-existant and you couls use the surface as an abrasive it's so rough. In fact I could enter it in this month's challenge as a decorated bowl.

I think early turnings can serve a purpose; when I'm struggling to achieve any sort of decent standard I can say 'well at least I'm better than that bloke'.
 

boysie39

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Some day you are going to look at those pieces and think, I wish I could do that now .so dont cringe when you see them ,just be thankful you had the opportunity to start doing something which gave you satisfaction and pleasure for what ever length of time you were at it . If you are five years on and the workmanship is still the same ,then you should get to the nearest forest and spend a couple of days there talking and apologizing to the trees.
When the people in the white coats come to take you away ,you should feel an inner peace .I know I did . :D :D
 

Jonzjob

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The first thing I ever turned was on a Wolf 'lathe' powered by my B&D drill :shock: It was an auctioneers gavel and block. It looks like slightly spalted beech and the finish is as good as anything I can do today. I have just picked it up to test that :?

I decided then that I wanted to do more, but couldn't do with a wailing banshie of that drill and bought a proper lathe, a Record DML24 if I remember correctly?

The finish on that gavel is as smooth as silk and I have no idea as to what it is ??

I don't have any examples of the other early stuff I turned, but I doubt they were anything like that? I still struggle at times :oops: :oops:
 
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