Woodcarving Mallet

After reading an article in the February 2017 American Woodturner, I decided to turn a carving mallet. Over the past couple of years I have been learning about carving so I figured someday I might need one. This mallet is made out of quarter sawn Ash (striking surface) and the core out of Ash, Bubinga and Maple. It was a great exercise for spindle turning. 9 7/8″ long by 2 5/8″ wide.

Turned Cherry Box

This is the last woodturning project I finished in 2016, a turned cherry box with embellishments. I started this box last fall, as a mentor, for a hands-on box making demo for Badger Woodturners, http://www.badgerwoodturners.org. After the box was turned, the wood was very plain so I decided to add some texture and color. The texture was made with the use of pyrography (wood-burning) then black gesso and gilding paste were applied for color. The last step was to add a coat of Clear Krylon Acrylic, 1305 spray finish. 2 29/32″ H x 2 15/16″ W – 2016.

woodturning, embellishments

Holliday Woodturnings

The holidays are here and Santa is busy working on all the toys for good boys and girls. I have also been busy finishing up some woodturning gifts for some special people. Here are a few of my recent works.

woodturning, carved, wood burning, painted

Black Cherry Hollow Form, carved, wood burnt, acrylic paint and gilding paste.
3 1/2” H x 2” W

hollow form, woodturning, carved, wood burnt, 23K gold leaf, building paste

Black Cherry Hollow Form, carved, wood burnt, acrylic paint and 23K gold leaf.
5 1/4” H x 2 5/8” W

cherry platter

Black Cherry Crotch Platter – I started this project in 2004 and allowed to dry slowly to minimize cupping from wild grain pattern. I probably turned this a minimum of 6 time and each time it would change it’s shape and not lay flat on the table. This last time was the charm, it has stabilized due the years involved.11 3/8” diameter

woodturning, pyrography, gilding paste

Black Cherry Hollow Form, wood burnt, acrylic paint and gilding paste.
2 5/16” H x 2 5/32” W

woodturning, wood burning, gilding paste

Black Cherry Hollow Form, wood burnt, acrylic paint and gilding paste.
2 1/8” H x 2” W


Bowls for Food

This will be the second year that I will be running a table at the 28th Annual Woodcarvers and Woodturners Show and Sale. This years event will be Sunday October 23, 2016 and will be held at Abundant Life Christian School on East Buckeye Rd. Doors open at 9:00 AM and close at 4:00 PM. There will be over 110 table of beautiful wood carvings and wood turnings, come out buy something.

I will have a Food Pantry table with 20 items I have made for this show plus many more that were donated by club members. Every dollar raised at this table will go directly to Living In Community, a food pantry on Madison northside.

Wood Art


Embellishments are In

Recently I was at a three day symposium, called Turn-On Chicago 2016, to learn more techniques for enhancing my woodturning art. I have been studying and making embellished pieces for the past two years but seeing the artist I admire in person is so much more rewarding.

At Turn-On Chicago I studied under Molly Winton and Graeme Priddle for most of the symposium’s rotations. They are both great artist who take a turned object and make stunning artwork out of them. There is nothing better than to sit in a room and see the artist demonstrate and be able to ask questions. I came back from the symposium filled with ideas and a shopping list full of tools and supplies.

Here are a few pieces I and made since returning home.
Black Cherry with Cocobolo rim, carved and airbrushed over black gesso.
2 15/16” W x 4 7/8” H – 2016

Copper Top, Black Cherry that has been wood-burnt, painted with black gesso and copper gilders paste. 2 7/8” W x 4 7/8” H – 2016

Burnt and Gilded, Black Cherry that has been wood-burnt, painted with black gesso plus gilders paste. 2 1/2” W x 3 3/16” H – 2016

Squiggles, Black Cherry that has been wood-burnt painted with black gesso plus gilders paste. 2 3/16” W x 3” H – 2016

Red Highlights, Black Cherry with Ebony rim that has been carved painted with black gesso and highlighted with red heavy body acrylic paint. 3 3/16” W x 4 1/8” H – 2016


Eling Park California

My trip to California was full of fun and I found some time for photography. This is a 180 degree panorama taken from the top of Elings Park. The day I took this the ocean was fogged in so I had to go inland to photograph. When we got to the top of the park you could see the fog coming up the valley which made it even more enjoyable. This hill is a popular place where hang gliders learn and practice and you can see one at the bottom of the hill.

This panoramic is made from 63 different images. The camera was placed on a tripod with a pano head and nodal slide, in a vertical position. I photographed nine different sections (every 20 degrees overlapping about 50 percent) with 7 bracketed exposes each. Each group of 7 exposures was processed into a high dynamic range, HDR, file and then stitched together.

If you would like to learn about panoramic photography or would like to order a print please contact me at claytonportraits@gmail.com or call me at 608-277-0969
Click on the image to view larger.

Santa Barbara Harbor

This fine art image is from my recent trip to visit friends in Santa Barbara California. It was a foggy morning, so I grabbed my Canon G10 point and shoot camera and captured this image as a RAW file. The raw file allowed me to process the image later (in Photoshop) instead of to letting the camera process the image as a jpeg file. With this work flow I can pull more out of the file than a standard jpeg.

The image below is before any enhancement or processing was done and would be close to what the camera would have made.
before processing

The finished photo presentation has gone through several steps to build contrast and separations. I lowered the saturation on most colors except reds and yellows. I like texture, so I added three different texture layers at various opacities—some natural and some warm tone. After cropping the image and putting a textured matt on it, the photo makes a great 10×16 fine art print.

fine art photo

Sarah Newton – Miss Madison 2016

It is not often that I photograph individuals with great personalities. Sarah Newton, the newly crowed Miss Madison – Capital City, was outgoing and friendly from the movement she arrived at my studio. We had a lot of work to do in the time we spent together but she was well organized and contributed to the outcome of our work. Sarah’s talent is jazz dancing and her personality shows in the images she selected.

I you are interested in modeling or pageant photos please contact me at claytonportraits@gmail.com or 608-277-0969
Miss Madison Miss Madison - Capital City Miss Madison 2016

Santa Barbara California

This is a fine art image I made from a recent trip to California. After a wine tasting afternoon, this image was taken just outside Los Olivos in Santa Barbara County. To create this image, it was capture in high dynamic range with 7 different exposures. Back in Wisconsin I started to work on a variety of images to have available for sale. The image was first work on in Photomatix Pro and then stylized in Photoshop.

If you would would like to purchase a copy of this image or any of our other fine art works, please email me at claytonportraits@gmail.com.
fine art

Here are a couple of other images taken in Santa Barbara.

Fine Art

Fine Art

Table Top Commercial Photos

A friend and fellow woodturner recently hired me to photograph some of his wood turnings for an art gallery exhibit. Dave Turner is a wonderful artist in both wood and painted media. As a young person Dave studied art with an emphasis on painting and later in life took up woodturning. After Dave retired he decided to combine these two areas of art and develop this unique body of work. Over the past few years it has been a joy to see the progress of his work with his exquisite styles.

To photograph these pieces of art, there were many challenges to overcome. Dave has  finished each pice with a flawless high gloss coating so you can enjoy each brush stroke. This high gloss finish is a challenge for any photographer and it take a considerable investment in time to overcome reflection issues. With the use of reflective aids and multiple exposures, to move hot spots, we are able to control most reflections.

Another challenge is woodturning are three demential objects and relatively small (approximately 12 inches high). When you are photographing small items there is no depth of field so I use a technique called stacked focusing. Stacked focusing is manually focusing the camera and adjusting the focus every 1/8 inch throughout the need focus range. You end up with maybe a dozen images that must be blended together to achieve a sharp image from front to back of the item being photographed.

If you have some small products that you need photographed, please contact me at claytonportraits@gmail.com or cal me at 277-0969.

Dave Turner – Wood Artist
Dave Turner wood artist Bison_800px Sunset_800px Cranes_800px