In The Studio

Virginia Dotson, woodturner, delighted President and Mrs. Clinton with Sunlight #4. Now she has offered to share with us the making of her newest work, a laminated turned wood platter of Ash and Ebon-X (TM)* woods. This is the first installment of that process. In part one she'll take us from her initial concept through the first cuts and preparations.

Please come back often. Here is a unique opportunity to watch as an accomplished artist bring us into her world to see up close how these great works are created.


Here is a full-size drawing of the vessel (top view), with the raw material in the background.

The First Cuts

Using the bandsaw to recut the wood into thinner boards. The scale of the various parts needs to be appropriate to the size of the vessel.

Preparation for gluing

Planing the resawn wood layers to provide the optimum surface for gluing.


Gluing up the blocks that will make the vessel. I place heavy clamps about 3" apart, and allow the blocks to set for 24 hours.

Taking shape

The center block has been recut and reglued (in several stages) with the major design features. The two geometric light-colored areas are soft pine, which will be cut away after the vessel is turned, leaving open spaces. The black wood wedge (upper left) will stay.

* A note from Virginia - "Ebon-X (TM) is not Ebony, which I don't use because of its rare and endangered status. It is actually a domestic wood which has been given a uniform black color through a non-toxic chemical process".

Virginia Dotson - Main Page Part two