Article: Kimberly Winkle Demonstrates For CMW, May 21, 2016

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June 07, 2016 17:49, submitted by Tina Collison (author: Bob Gunther, photos by Scot Roberge)

Kimberly Winkle demonstrates for CMW, May 21, 2016


Kimberly Winkle comes to us from Tennessee where she lives and works. She is a maker who creates furniture and objects using wood and paint. Her work displays a balance of form, color, pattern and texture. She has exhibited nationally and internationally including SOFA Chicago, Wanted Design NYC and the Architectural Digest Home Show. Her work has been included in a number of publications including Fine Woodworking, Woodworker, and Woodworker West magazines and the books 500 Tables, 500 Chairs and Fine Woodworking Design Book 8 among others. Kim has completed several residencies including the International Turning Exchange (ITE) at the Center for Art in Wood in Philadelphia, The Wingate Artist Residency at State University New York (SUNY), Purchase, NY, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and at the Appalachian Center for Craft. She has been awarded 4 Niche Awards, a State of Tennessee Individual Artist Award in 2011 and The Society of Arts and Crafts (Boston) and the John D. Mineck Furniture Fellowship in 2014.

Kim is an Associate Professor of Art at Tennessee Technological University. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Fine Arts in Furniture Design from San Diego State University. Her workshop teaching experience includes Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Anderson Ranch Art Center, The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, John C. Campbell Folk School and the Appalachian Center for Craft. Kim demonstrated and taught in 2010 to CMW and the NC Woodturning Symposium in 2013.

Morning Session:

Kim began her demo describing one of her pieces with respect to design, turning and coloring, especially the use of milk paint. Her turning began with a two part (front and back) mirror with a turned, painted front and a flat painted back. The piece used was poplar. 8/4 thick by 15” diameter. It had no defects and both surfaces were trued up on the planer and joiner. It was a solid piece and not glued up. If a glued up piece is used it needs to be precisely glued up with no readily visible glue joint. Kim uses poplar because it is easily obtainable, relatively cheap, stable, and lends itself to painting and dying. A faceplate was attached to the backside of the front piece. Proper screws are necessary- do not use dry wall screws. Kim used #10 sheet metal screws to secure the 4-inch faceplate.

The piece held by the faceplate was placed on the headstock. The lathe was turned to a slow speed to check for any safety issues. A bowl gouge with a long fingernail grind was used. The edges of the piece were trued up. She began the true up on the headstock side and progressed to just short of the tailstock edge. Kim then entered the wood from the tailstock side to complete the true up of the entire edge.

Kim buys her round mirrors in varying diameters from Hobby Lobby. She used a 4-inch mirror for today’s demo. The Stronghold chuck with its jaw nearly fully open was used to expand into a recess tenon. A Bedan tool was used to make the tenon and a bowl gouge used to clear away the wood in the center of the tenon. The tenon was made deeper than the jaws height. Then the wood on the rim was rounded using the push cut. This will be the outside of the outer curve of the front of the mirror. The rounding was continued until the outer frame area was rounded. Then the center frame area was rounded as if it were a large bead. The inner frame area (rim) was marked with a center line and a bead formed to either side of this line. A 3/8 inch spindle gouge was used to further detail this area completing the inner frame bead. Then a series of beads were drawn going out from the center frame bead to the outer mirror wood rim. These beads were then turned using the bowl gouge and the spindle gouge. This created a ripple effect on the large area from the center frame to the outer edge of the piece. Kim does not sand the turned areas because the small turning marks will actually accent the surface after the milk paint is applied.

The piece was then removed from the headstock and the faceplate removed. The Stronghold chuck was placed on the spindle and the piece placed on the expansion jaws using the tenon previously made. Then the backside of the mirror front was hollowed out as if you were making a shallow bowl. The hollowing starts about 2 inches from the outer edge. Placing the front portion of the mirror into a groove that will be turned on the back MDF piece. Two rabbits were made in the center of the front piece – one for the mirror and the second a little larger for the backing (cardboard or Masonite) that keeps the mirror in place. This backing will be secured with two screws. The rabbit cut for the mirror needs to be about 1/8 inch wider than the mirror. This permits the wood to expand and contract without cracking the mirror. The rabbit is formed using the Bedan tool. IT is also used for the backing rabbit. Each rabbit needs to be the depth that the mirror and backing are thick. The back was then further hollowed leaving a 2-inch flat rim around the outer area. The flat area was trued up so it would fit neatly against the back plate (2nd part of the 2-part mirror).

The front mirror piece was then removed from the jaws and the chuck removed from the spindle. Then the faceplate was attached to a ¾ inch thick piece of ultra-light MDF. This piece was about 2 ½ inch bigger in diameter (17 ½ inches) than the front, poplar mirror part. One-inch-long screws were used to attach the MDF to the faceplate. It was then placed on the headstock and the edge of the MDF trued up. The diameter of the poplar mirror front piece was scribed on the surface of the MDF. Then a second circle was scribed 2 inches further in from the first mark. This will be the groove to place the mirror into. A Bedan tool was used to cut the grove to match the mirror piece. The depth of the groove is about ¼ inch deep. Kim wants the front mirror piece to appear that it is pushing down into the back board (MDF) and pushing some of the wood away. Thus this portion of the back board outside the mirror front piece looks like another bead. The cut on the MDF to form this bead is a scraping cut. As with all MDF turning a good mask should be used.

Then holes were drilled through the MDF in the groove so that the front mirror could be attached (eight screws). The backboard was then removed from the lathe (left on the chuck) and the mirror was attached to the backboard (MDF) with the 1 1/4” sheet metal screws. The poplar mirror piece was not drilled. The screws tapped their own holes. The entire piece was then placed back on the headstock. The center hole where the actual mirror will go was cleaned up (chuck marks) and the opening enlarged. This area can then be sanded.

Afternoon Session:

The 2-part mirror turned in the AM session was still on the faceplate on the headstock spindle. Kim then proceeded with the paint portion of her demo. Milk paint comes as a powder packaged in brown paper bags. It is composed of clay, casein, lime and pigment. Once mixed with water it has a short shelf life (2-3 days). This can be somewhat prolonged if stored in a refrigerator. When mixed with water you have to mix out the clumps and strain the mixture though a fine kitchen strainer or cheese cloth. You should let it sit for 15-20 minutes before using it. First Kim mixed green and then black and white. Wear gloves and use a face mask when mixing. The final consistency should be like heavy cream.

Kim then turned the lathe on a slow speed and painted the entire front of the mirror (Poplar) with one of two coasts of the green. Sponge brushes were used to apply the paint. Usually she paints the two parts of the mirror off the lathe. If you use milk paint on very hard woods such as maple or beech you need to add Extra Bond to the first coat. This increases the adhesion of the paint to the wood. Kim aided the drying process by using a slow lathe speed and an incandescent light bulb for heat. You can also use a hair dryer or a heat gun (carefully). The first coast should take about 30 minutes to dry. Subsequent coats are somewhat quicker. Then a second coat of the green was applied. Milk paint can react with the tannin in woods such as oak or mahogany. These woods need to be sealed before using the milk paint with spray shellac. Extra Bond also needs to be used.

Kim then applied the white paint. It was applied to the inner frame bead and the outer bead. Once the white coat was dry a thin coat of black was applied over the entire front painted area. This coat is made thin so that it is easier and quicker to sand through.

When Kim usually has both front and back parts painted and sanded and before final assembly the glass (mirror) needs to be placed in its rabbit and then the cardboard or Masonite needs to be screwed in place. The wire hanger is attached to the back with small bolts.

Note: It was amusing to see, at this point in the demo, 50 people intent on watching paint dry!!

Note: When putting the back piece on the front for the final placement the grain direction of the front, polar, piece needs to run vertically. The holes drilled at the top and bottom of the back piece into the front need to be smaller than those drilled at 3 and 9 o’clock. However, the screws used are the same for each. This allows for the wood expansion in the lateral directions. There is minimal expansion up or down.

At this point the paint was dry and Kim used 120 grit sandpaper to sand through the black paint with the lathe running. Be sure not to take too much away. You can’t put the black back on without it appearing obvious that something has happened. Once the desired effects were obtained by sanding, 0000 steel wool was used to burnish the surface. Once burnished a poly spray or other type of finish can be applied. Paste wax can also be used as well as black Kiwi shoe polish. This slightly darkens the surface but does give a good shine.

This completed a fun, interesting and informative demo. It was nice to have Kim return once again to CMW.

Submitted by Bob Gunther