Knotty Turn
271 Western Ave., Room 317
Lynn, MA 01904

Custom Projects

Custom woodworking projects always present a unique challenge are are welcomed. Those shown here are merely a sample...

The first project shows a bowl turned as a wedding gift. The bowl is built up from wild cherry that had been damaged some years ago. The power company saw the tree as a threat and cut it down, just leaving the larger pieces along the road - presumably for someone to pick up as firewood. However, it was brought in and allowed to dry. It was cut and then pieced like for many bowls but one layer of walnut was added for contrast.
Trees live a long time and have their own stories to tell. This wild cherry was once on the property line of a farm. It just happened to be there when a barbed wire fence was put up. Of course the staple used to hold the fence caused injury and, as the tree continued to grow around the wire, some rot set in. Cherry is a sweet wood and some ants set up a nest in this convenient spot. The tree continued to grow, but was damaged so severely that it became a candidate for firewood. Seeing the gnarly distortions, it was selected for turning and made several nice bowls. The bowl on the left was "green turned" meaning that it was not fully dried when turned on the lathe. As a result, the beautiful grain is displayed along with the contortions as it did dry. (Otherwise it would have cracked and probably been quite useless.) However, the ants nest presented a problem on the other piece. The end result of putting it on the lathe and "seeing what's there" is a nice conversation piece that also holds fruit, etc.

The "unity" candle at weddings has been quite symbolic for many years. Most frequently, a single candle is placed on each side of the altar representing the two individuals coming together to be joined as a couple. A larger pillar candle placed in the center of the altar represents the couple after they are joined. Prior to the ceremony, the two individual candles are lit. Alternatively, each individual or their parent, will light the candle that represents the individual. During the ceremony, the individuals will join each of their own candles to light the new pillar candle representing the new family. After the pillar candle is lit, they will extiguish their own candle to represent that they no longer exist as an individual.

The sequence shown above is a true unity candle. When first placed on the altar, the two sections appear to the audience as two fully individual candles that are lit by the two coming together, on the left. During the cermony, the two are rotated and joined, center picture, to burn as one, on the right.

The design is such that a small piece of mica holds the wick in place while it burns as the individual. After the ceremony, the mica is removed and the bases screwed together. The next time candle is burned, the wax melts and now the candle is joiined as one - just as the couple is. Since it is now a full canlde, it may be burned as the couple desires. For example, lighting it for a short time each year to recelebrate their union.

You are encouraged to contact Knotty Turn with your ideas for special projects!

Last updated: March 22, 2018
©2018 David J. Pfaltzgraff