Black Lace Hat

Bigleaf maple, madrone burl, compressed cherry, acrylic paints (2013).
Dimensions: 15.5” diameter x 8″ high x 27″ long.

My first attempt at thin-turning a large walnut block went through the wall when it was 95% completed. Lacking another piece of wood this size, I glued together two dry bigleaf maple bowl blanks and turned a new hat form. (I prefer to turn dry wood, to conserve symmetry of form). The hat was pierced with an NSK Presto and each hole filed with 240 then 600 grit diamond needle files to clean up. (This took 5-20 min/hole). The piece was then airbrushed with carbon black.

Hat Piercing
I wet-turned nine discs of madrone burl, 1mm thick and ranging in size from 6” diameter down to 1”, and then drew and cut petals around the disc perimeters (seven petals/disc). Each petal was individually wetted, formed into a cup shape, and fixed into shape with a hairdryer. The discs were airbrushed with quinacridone red + quinacridone crimson shading on the border, and the discs nested concentrically by threading them onto a wire and gluing them together. The stamens are wire with gel tips.

Hat Flower
Compressed cherry was bandsawn and belt-sanded to size and thickness. I tried to fit it around the hat for the band but it sat up proud of the form because compressed wood can be bent in one plane only, not two. So I turned a thin maple disc to fit the hat and sit flush (it took 5 tries to get the diameter and angle right). Airbrushed with pearlescent white acrylic.

For the trailing ribbon I sanded a thin compressed wood strip along the grain and then across the grain, and bleached it three times to give a texture very similar to fine cotton or linen. It was then formed wet around a tube and fixed with a hairdryer. After airbrushing the texture became much coarser. Thread count is about 100/inch.

As a wall hanging
Here is a photo of the hat, with my wife Jan.
Comments on hat on World of Woodturners Forum
A sample of comments on this forum may be read here.
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