Keith Larrett

Keith LarrettBorn in Zimbabwe, Keith has called America his home since 1993.  His first career in America was as a skydiving photographer.   His work has been published in skydiving magazines and calendars around the world.

Keith has been working with wood since 2002 and has been wood turning since 2007.  He is an active member of the North East Florida Woodturning Association, managing the website and the demonstration videos.

He also maintains a blog chronicling his adventures in woodturning and woodworking at http://www.syzygywoodworks.com/news and has had articles published in a number of online magazines.

Happily married he is grateful for all the loving support he receives from his beautiful wife.

Statement.

Relatively new to the field of woodturning, I have drawn inspiration from a wealth of talented and generous turners.  I am also enjoying the journey as I explore and discover my own style.

I am drawn to suspended vessels, in particular suspended hollow forms.  I also find my work is trending towards mixed media with the addition of pewter to the turned wood pieces.  More recently I have been experimenting with the combination of copper and brass with wood.

Similar to photography, woodturning appeals to me as it involves both a technical and a creative aspect.  On the creative side it is fun to draw a picture in my minds eye of a piece.  The technical side is the techniques and procedures I need to use in order to bring that vision into reality.

I love everything about working with wood.  The change in look and texture as it goes from rough cut to finished piece, the smell, the mystery of how a piece of wood will change as it dries and the incredible diversity of grain pattern and color.

Because of the scale of the pieces, woodturning allows me the opportunity to work with woods from all over the world.  It helps me to reconnect with the place I was born and the places I have traveled.

Website: http://keithlarrett.com/

Blog: http://www.syzygywoodworks.com/news/

Demonstrations

Cast and Threaded Pewter Collar and Finial

After a brief discussion on the properties of pewter, casting and suitable mold materials, I will make a simple mold. Then I will cast pewter in the mold.  After pouring the pewter collar I will drill and thread it.  Once it is threaded I will mount it on the lathe using a threaded chuck and turn the underside to include a tenon and to reduce the bulk of the collar.  Then I will turn the top of the collar, apply a texture and highlight the texture. I will then demonstrate sizing a prepared hollow form to the collar, attaching the collar and finishing the bottom of the hollow form.  I will then thread a small ring which will be attached to a prepared finial and demonstrate how I finish turn the bottom of the finial.

Demonstration Handout

Suspended Vessel ~ Designing the legs and attaching them using a router

After a brief discussion on suspended vessels and the different forms and attachment methods available I will show the process I use to design and draw a template for the legs. I will also cover the process of making the legs, covering thickness, cutting, shaping and smoothing.  The router is supported by a platform which I will demonstrate, as well as showing methods of securely mounting the hollow form to the lathe to allow for routing.  There are numerous alignment issues which need to be dealt with when suspending a vessel. I will cover these issues as well as introduce and demonstrate the jig that I use to aid in alignment.  Having secured a hollow form to the lathe I will demonstrate routing the grooves and gluing the legs into the grooves.

Demonstration Handout

End Grain Vessel with Pewter Rim

Using an end grain blank I will show how I turn a dovetail groove into the face of the blank that will form the mold for casting of the pewter rim directly to the blank.  The dovetail groove is formed in such a way that the pewter rim is attached by mechanical means only, no adhesive required.  I will then show how the rim of the vessel is turned, sized and embellished and talk about the importance of doing this before the shaping and hollowing of the vessel.  I will then turn the majority of the vessel before hollowing the end grain of the vessel.  After hollowing the vessel I will part it off and remount it on the waste wood in order to finish the underside.  This technique can be used on a variety of end grain vessels from goblets to boxes.

Demonstration Handout