Turning Square

Con (meaning with) Tiki

What do you do with a square turning blank except turn it round? Yaakov, a professional woodturner and furniture maker, answered that question in his blog, Artisan’s Call, with his Tiki 1.

After looking at his piece, I thought I would give it a try. But there are several caveats. Yaakov had a nice piece of Osage orange. I had a small piece of cottonwood. Yaakov was working with the confluence of ideas from three great artists of the trade. I had the inspiration of Yaakov’s piece. Plus I have never known an idea of mine to stay static. So I knew my interpretation would not look like the original. Caveat Emptor.

I wanted to turn the profile of a face into the corners. The forehead and the nose worked. The lips and the chin broke the integrity of the piece. I hollowed it out so it could be cut off just below the end of the nose. The profile no longer suggests a face, but it works well.

Another View

Tiki 1 has a series of holes piercing the side. My piece did not want piercing, so the sides are intact.

Yaakov said the black design on the sides of Tiki 1 suggest a Polynesian origin. My pyrographed design suggests something also, but I don’t know what.

Since Yaakov named his work Tiki 1. I should name mine Con Tiki. (Not to be thought of as Kon Tiki.) To avoid confusion, I could just call it Con, but you might think me some kind of artist I don’t wish to be. (A Kon artist?)

Discuss the Pros and the Cons of these two works and tell me what you think.

Ellis Hein, author of The Woodturner’s Project Book

About Ellis Hein

I am a woodturner and the author of The Woodturner's Project Book. I have a life-long interest in the gospel preached by George Fox and the early Quakers. You can see some of my material on that subject at http://nffquaker.org/profiles/blog/list?user=1zw2th7nj9p89.
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8 Responses to Turning Square

  1. Yaakov says:


    I think you did a really great job on your “Con Tiki.” Very clever title too! I really enjoy good puns! A good wit is a sign of a sharp mind.

    I am very honored by your article and I think it is really cool that you were inspired by me!

    Keep up the good work. I enjoy reading your posts, keep them coming!

    Kol tuv,


  2. Brad Vietje says:

    Nice turning, Ellis,

    I made a few sketches while looking at your piece and Yaakov’s original, and hope to explore some ideas when I get my new shop set up. I’m always fascinated by the space inside a hollow wooden form, so I like Yaakov’s holes, which draw me in for a peek inside. Hopefully in a few months I’ll have my new shop set up and I’ll be able to return to turning and posting photos… ‘Till then, thanks for the ideas!

    Safe spinning,

    Brad Vietje
    Newbury, VT

    • Ellis Hein says:

      Brad, Thanks for the compliment and for the comment. It is good to see you back on the Turning and Talking list. I also enjoyed reading your comments on Yaakov’s blog. I look forward to seeing what you come up with regarding this idea. I think it has a lot of room for exploring and for creating mystery.

  3. Pingback: The Series Continues… | Artisan's Call

  4. ezsha says:

    Your pyrographic design reminds me very much of a face – eyebrows cross to a diagonal tip of the nose, which cross back into lips forming an open-mouthed grin, which terminates in a rather unusual two-pronged beard – it reminds me for some reason of a stylized asian man. Very neat, and thank you for sharing!

  5. ezsha says:

    And the corner cuts serve nicely as defined cheekbones.

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