Sunday, August 9, 2009

An Alaia in Three Minutes

Actually it took a bit longer - about two hours or so, on two days. I got a few nice paulownia blanks from the Wegeners in California, and this is the first board from them. Paulownia is light- about half the weight of pine, with equivalent strength. It also works very nicely, with a decent grain structure that lends itself to the hand plane nicely, with the exception of some wandering grain.

It will be interesting to see how it holds up in the juice - it is much more flexible than my pine alaias, and I'm a bit worried about lengthwise splitting - but since it's wood, I can always re-join it and reinforce with stringers or glass if needed.

For the finish I used a simple water-based dye solution, which the wood took up nicely. It's easy to work with, has no harmful fumes or solids, with virtually no clean up. I wanted to try something colorful and I think this "omilu" design worked well.

Here's the bottom, with green dye rails, a bit of red dye down the center, and very subtly masked leaves with blue dye underneath it all:

Here's the top, blue down the center, green rails and the omilu below the logo:

The art:

And the original:

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