Wall hanging

Overall size 6 feet x 6 feet.  Turning is genuine mahogany, 48" in diameter.  The turning was done as a public demonstration for Paxton Lumber Co. in Austin, TX in 1988.  A board 3 1/4" x 17" x 13' was cut into 3 pieces and glued up into the blank.  2 x 12 pine boards were glued to the back in order to screw the face plate to them. (waste block)  When I went into the demo room to start turning, there were probably 50-60 people sitting there patiently waiting on me.  I explained that I had only glued on the waste blocks the day before and I wasn't really sure how securely the glue had dried.  And if the glue failed, the piece would forge a path right thru the center of the audience, so my advice was to move a little one way or the other.  No one moved.  So, I turned on the lathe.  Now, keep in mind that I had simply chain sawed the corners of the blank off, so it was a 48"+ diameter piece of wood with 8 corners sticking out.  As it came up to speed, it created a fan effect, blowing air around.  And all of a sudden, I hear this commotion behind me.  I turned around and the people in line with the piece had abandoned their chairs and were climbing over the laps of their neighbors to get out of the way!!!  So much for bravery. 

 After rearanging the seating, I commenced to turn.  Needless to say, it takes a while to knock the corners off, get it round and flat, then to begin shaping.  At noon, I suggested that the rest of the day would be just as boring as the previous hour or so had been, and I would not be insulted if people went somewhere else.  But to their credit, I do not believe a single person left.  All the chairs were full after lunch and they sat there patiently waiting until I finished the turning late that afternoon. 

 I left the piece at Paxton's for a year or so in its original configuration.  Then, for the 1990 AAW Symposium I cut it up, bent up the pipe frame, and re-configured it into the wall hanging you see today.  It did create quite a buzz at the Symposium, not only from the size but from being cut up into pieces.  It is just as dramatic today as it was 25 years ago.


Next ]

Return to Gallery