I have a load of shrink pots half finished in my workshop. This happens quite naturally as the making is split into 2 parts, working the wood when it is green and allowing it to dry, and once seasoned making the lid and finishing. It is always nice to make when the mood takes hold, so I finished this 10 inch diameter pot with its willow lid and elm handle. I do love handles and I make them for doors and cupboards, hint, hint, you can buy them off me. Handles to me are a bit like spoons: they have an infinite variation of form and are amazing 3 dimensional sculptural forms.
I could spend all day making handles. This one I wanted to be secured by “natural” means and so I drilled a couple of holes in the lid and made a long pin to pierce the handle tenons.
The inside of my shrink pots are caressed with pure beeswax and bathed in a relaxing heat to help it penetrate the wood. The outside and lid is drizzled in pure cold pressed linseed oil from the pastoral fields of rural sussex. I use beeswax as I do not know what people are going to use these pots for and beeswax is great for food and everything else, as well as sealing any gaps or holes.
I have also finished my largest pot to date an 18 inch high ash one.
The willow elm and sycamore pot (the one in the front) has been sanded. As you all know I like a tooled finish, but sycamore has such a lovely smooth and pure creamy white white finish that even with a razor sharp spokeshave the grain was chipping out in parts. I know that I am a perfectionist and in this case it just seemed right to sand, and this contrasts very well with the tooled finish of the lid. I now find that a very sharp drawknife, bevel up is the best way to go. This seems to work better than a spokeshave.
On another note my good friend and inspirational carver Jon Mac has introduced me to the Abranet sanding sheets, these are great for spoons and other 3 dimensional sanding. If you need to go over to the dark side and sand then these sanding sheets come very highly recommended by me.
My favourite work of Jon’s are his snow goose drinking vessels which I very much lust over.