Demo Report – March 2024 – Bryan Milham

For tonight’s demonstration, we have Bryan Milham who has travelled up from Weston Super Mare to entertain us with his skills and knowledge. Bryan is also the secretary of the AWGB.
Tonight Bryan will be going through the process of applying texture and colouring from the ceramics industry, and applying them to the wood-turning environment. Beyond colour is what the evening is all about. Bryan went through Health and safety information at the start of the evening, before starting the turning process.

Bryan reminded us about the three things that all turners need to keep in mind while turning, these are:

  • The tools to be kept sharp
  • The tools bevel angle needs to be controlled
  • Think about the design of the project

Decorated Bowl from Ash – 8” x 2.5”

Bryan used a pull cut to form a flat face across the surface of a blank followed by a push cut to make the blank round and balanced on the lathe at about 750 rpm. The shape is then cut to a regular shape. Bryan used an aggressive cut when removing the waste wood from the outer-shaped area. A foot was produced for the bowl to stand off the table, this was then sanded down to 120 grit to give a key for the next stage.

Next white gesso was applied to totally cover the blank in a thick layer, black gesso could also be used. Then a dog comb or bamboo sticks were used, these had points on the end and were placed across the gesso as the lathe was running to form a row of groves all over the outer area of the bowl, the gesso was now allowed to dry before moving to the next stage.
When it was dry a layer of blue and red spirit stains was applied to the gesso with a Mouth Atomiser, on an equal basis around the bowl, this would then need a lacquer finish applied.

Decorated Vase from Sapele – 4” x 4” x 8”

Placed into the lathe axis and turned to a round by use of a roughing gouge, a skew was then used to get a smoother surface which was used by using the skew as a planning tool, this was also used to form the shape of the vase, a parting tool was used to form a foot on the base of the vase. A Velcro pad system was used for the sanding abrasives which were fixed to a flat shape and used in varying grits to the vase.
It is at this stage that the vase needs to be completely finished with a polish or wax before moving to the next stage.

An area was marked off at the top of the vase about 1” from the rim and again by use of the skew the area edges were cut with the toe of the skew and then the inner area just marked out an extra layer of waste wood was removed. Decorator tape was used to mask off the edge of the cut area and additional paper was fixed to the other area not to be worked on. The edge of the decorates tape was again cut with the skew to the outer edge already cut.

A hot glue gun was then used to apply the hot glue to the open area in a random manner around the open area. When cool a black lacquer was applied over the entire area which was open and then left to dry.
The edge of the decorated area was again cut with the skew to give a very clean edge. A guilt cream was then applied over the top of the dry glue, place some guilt on the back of your hand and keep going back to this whilst applying it over the glue, if it goes over this is not a problem.

Decorated Platter

This was already turned and just the inner hollowed-out area to be decorated.
Tacky craft glue was used in the hollowed-out area of the platter and then allowed to dry a bit before applying some ultra-thin metal foil, this was applied by putting your finger into the metal foil and applying it to the tacky area of the platter till it was totally covered. This is then rubbed with your fingers to get a smooth surface and remove the loose parts from the hollowed area. This then requires a covering of lacquer to embed the foil.

Bryan also showed how to use modelling clay to form decorations which can be set into moulds and then painted and then applied to the outer areas of the bowls or vases for additional decoration.

The evening finished early, so we finished off with a question and answer session and Bryan stated that if any member needed additional information they could contact him directly, his information is given in Revolutions.

Materials used:

Once again the club would like to thank Bryan for the evening’s demonstration and explanations of what was taking place during the demo.

The club would like to give their thanks to all members who helped out with both the setting up process and also the cleaning up at the end of the evening.

Report by Barrie Fisher & edited by Steve Hackett

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