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Michael Earley’s attention to detail is evident in this beautifully crafted segmented maple vessel. A true labor of love, this small work of art took approximately 25 hours of hands-on time from start to finish.
Woven Wood ProcessMost of Michael’s vessels are constructed of segmented hard maple to avoid any defects in the wood and ensure that all sides are edge grain (dyes absorb at different rates between edge grain and end grain). Michael starts by creating segmented bowl turning blanks. Segmented bowl turning blanks are made from many pieces of wood instead of one solid piece. Small wedges of wood are glued together to form different diameter rings, and the rings are stacked and glued together to form a segmented turning blank. A segmented turning blank is more dimensionally stable than a solid wood blank.
Once the segmented “blank” is constructed, Michael turns and hollows each piece on the lathe. He then turns beads into the work, typically 1/8th or 3/16th wide, depending on the pattern and size of the vessel. After the beads are established, he indexes the verticle lines with a pencil at different degrees based on the overall diameter of the piece. Then he burns each verticle line on each bead with a wood burner to develop the woven/bead appearance.
About the ArtistI started woodworking in my early teens thanks to the dedication and encouragement of my middle school wood shop teacher. I continued tinkering with woodworking off and on throughout most of my adult life while always maintaining a passion for art and creating.
I’ve been called a hobby addict, always trying to tackle something new. I’ve restored a vintage pickup truck, dabbled in photography, built drones/quadcopters, and managed over 600 gallons of saltwater aquariums in my home for over ten years. I’ve always come back to art and woodworking as my core passion. I have a small garage workshop where I spend a good portion of my free time acquiring new woodworking skills or refining and enhancing my art.
I thoroughly enjoy the challenge and creativity involved with being a woodturner and artist. I know a particular piece or project will be good if it keeps me up and night trying to figure out how to create what my mind has envisioned. My approach and use of different materials constantly evolve as I hone my style. Using imported and domestic burls, resin, and recycled skateboards allows me to explore endless possibilities and create unique, one-of-a-kind pieces.
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