Master Class Display Case

Last quarter in my extensive Master Class led by designer Dakota Jackson, we were told to design and build display cases. Each of us designed cases close to our own heights, and based the designs around something personal to put on display. Because of my love for sculpture, I decided my case would house a piece that I was to create specifically for the project.

Below is a portion of the poster created for my senior show that describes a little more about my inspiration, plus some images showing my process.

Better images to come once the piece is totally complete! 

Experimental Marbling

This weekend a friend and I did a little experimental marbling. The process is similar to tie dye, but marbling gives you more control and trippier results. 


We gathered up the test subjects and soaked them in an aluminum sulphate mixture so ensure the colors don't rinse off, then let them dry over night. That night we also prepared our methyl cel solution so that it would be ready by the time we woke up.

The next morning our methyl cel was a nice jelly-ish consistency, our objects were dry, and we were ready to marble!

my business card looking absolutely marbelous

I was shocked by how well the colors (shown above) took to this piece of palm tree. Definitely became one of my favorite pieces.

At the end, we mixed a few of our existing colors to make a really nice orange and magenta/purple. They turned out so well we regretted not mixing the colors earlier.

If you want to try marbling, I highly recommend Pro Chemical & Dye. Their website could use a little re-vamp, but the customer service is on point. Plus they send you (basically) everything you'll need.

Heart Pine Bowl

I have wanted to learn how to turn wood for a long time. It combines two of my passions: a process that is similar to throwing ceramics on a wheel and woodworking. I bought two pieces of reclaimed heart pine, and the first piece I turned came out looking the best. I started off by cutting the pieces into cylinders on a ban saw to make the centering process easier. 

After attaching the wood to the lathe, the first step is to shape the outside of the bowl. Once I carved the outside of the bowl to the shape that I desired, I moved the tool rest to the other side of the bowl so that I could start carving away the inside. It's best to carve from the middle and pull your knife outward (a small knob should be left in the center until the end for support and because that is where the wood is mounted to the faceplate). Once the middle is shaped to an even consistency as the outside of the bowl, it is safe to remove the center. The final step before removing the bowl from the wheel is to sand it. 

There was a fairly noticeable crack down the center of the bowl, but I realized that I should highlight the imperfection, rather than letting it bother me. I bought some turquoise stones in the jewelry section of the craft store. I crushed the stones then used Epoxy to inlay the turquoise into the gap. After the it is sealed, I sanded the bowl once more, and sealed the piece with a beeswax finish.

To see how the final product turned out, check it out here.

Wooden Sculpture Progress

I have been working on this wooden sculpture off and on for a few weeks now. The original form was created in Rhino and tweaked in Maya. I had the pieces for each layer cut out of a large piece of cardboard on the laser cutter, which I then assembled using super glue and dowels to get a better sense of scale and shape of the piece. Overall I was pleased with the form, but I wished it could stand without support.

After taking the sculpture back into Rhino and doing some editing, I was able to produce a form that was able to stand on three "legs". I then had the new and improved form cut out of 1/8" plywood, stacked and glued it up, then began the long process of grinding down the ridges.

After several hours grindin', I'd say it's looking pretty beautiful. All it needs is a couple more hours of sanding then a nice stain and finish.

All of that will happen soon, but for now I am going to enjoy my Spring Break.