These articles hightligh a few of the ways to embelish the surfaces of turnings, from coloring to burning and many others.


Exploring Color with Metal Reactive Paint Fee-based Woodturning Articles by Sam Angelo
By: Sam Angelo
Several years ago I discovered VerDay Paint offered by Ten Second Studio. Their paint system allows you to create surfaces that have a patina that looks like brass, iron, copper, or bronze.


Creating Visual and Textural Appeal in Your Turnings
By: Ellis Hein
In this article, Ellis shows us a bunch of different ways to decorate our wood turnings to create visual and textual appeal. He explains how to:

  • Burn lines


Carving Spirals in a Bowl
By: Bob Moffett
In this article, Bob explains how he lays out a bowl in order to turn spirals on it. Bob goes through each step and provides a picture to help explain what to do. The resulting bowl is very special.


Gold Gild a Wood Bowl
By: Amy Christie
One way to embellish a wood bowl is to coat the surface of the wood. There are many different types of materials that can be used but one of the most beautiful and historic is gold gilding. In this short article, Amy shows us how she adds gold gilding to some spare bowls. Once you see how it's done, you'll be ready to try it yourself.


Using a Chatter Tool to Create Designs in Wood Turning
By: George Vondriska
In this article, George helps us to understand how to use chatter in our wood turnings. He shows us four different chatter setups and then shows us seven different chatter techniques. This is a good article to learn the basics of chatterwork on your turnings.


Adding Decoration to a Bowl
By: Fred Holder
In this article, Fred Holder shows us how he turns a bowl and then how he decorates the rim of a bowl. Fred uses photos to fully demonstrate how to turn the bowl and then to drill and insert dowels into the rim of a bowl to embellish it. This is an easy process once you see it and it's an easy way to dress up an otherwise bland bowl.


DIY Complex Turning System
By: Ian Salisbury
Ian Salisbury is an experienced woodturner from England. He was always keen on enhancing the appearance of this turned bowls, boxes and vases.

When Ian observed some woodturnings from 1870 which had been decorated with an ornamental lathe, it gave him the seed of an idea.

Ian was an industrial engineer so he used his skills to create a complex turning system which works on a standard lathe so you don't need to buy a whole second machine to be able to decorate your turnings.

Ian designed a low cost system (~$60) that uses wood, slides and other parts that are easy to find and purchase. His article covers all the details needed for you to build one of these yourself. He also includes separate documents for the parts list, and the system and rosette drawings.

Ian would look forward to corresponding with anyone building one of these systems. He would love to consider improvements and to offer help if needed. So, this project sounds like a good 2016 resolution.

Click here to see the parts list

Click here to see the rosette drawings

Click here to see the system drawings


The Basics of Embellishment
By: Terry Scott
In this article, Terry talks about different ways that he embellishes his turnings. He shows wonderful pictures to illustrate the techniques that he uses. He also tells you all the tools that he uses so that he can also add embellishments to your turnings.

This article is one to get your creative juices flowing!


Use of pewter in woodturning
By: Robin Cromer
In this photo journal, Robin shows us some pewter work and techniques by John Wessels. Then he goes on to give a short series of steps in casting and using pewter in woodturnings.


Use of Inlay in Woodturnings
By: Robert Bley
In this slideshow, Robert covers the different materials that can be used as inlay. He shows several ways that they can be crushed and how to use them. Then he discusses how to create patterns and transfer them onto your woodturnings. He also reviews how to then carve the pattern, fill it with stone and lastly how to sand it. This is a great article explaining how to use inlays in your woodturnings.?


Marbling Turnings
By: Mary - Celine Thouin
Mary's article provides a complete and thorough explanation on how to marble your turnings. This is a complete start-to-finish article. If you have any interest in marbling, you must read this article.


Colouring Wood
By: Jimmy Clewes
In this article, Jimmy Clewes explains how he prepares his turnings for coloring. Then he covers how he selects and applies his colors. He ends the article by explaining how he puts on the final finish. He does provide sources for his materials so that you can use the same ones that he does.


Sand Carving
By: Al Hockenbery
In this article, Al explains how he embellishes his wood turnings using sand blasting to do his carving. He shows wonderful examples of his work. He takes you step-by-step through the process of working with images, creating the resist template and then how to do the sand carving using a sand blaster. He provides a full list of materials and sources. This is an excellent tutorial is you want to learn how to sand carve in wood!


Pyrography (wood Burning) Demonstration
By: Craig Drozd and Matt Harber
Thinking about adding wood burning to your turnings, then read this article first as it gives you a full fledged tutorial on how to do it.


Spiral Carving
By: Jim Scarsella, Alfred Schembri, Vince Hellmann, Craig Drozd, Paul Neuburger, Jack Parmenter, and R
This is an excellent article which explains how to layout and carve spirals on a hollow form turning. There are great photos to help make it easier to follow along and understand the process.


Fractal Lichtenberg Figure Woodturning with Electricity Video Woodturning Articles by Wayne Schmidt
By: Wayne Schmidt
In this article, Wayne explains how he uses high voltage to burn interesting lines into wood. There is a risk of electrocution from this work but the results are quite stunning.

You can also see it in his video which can be found here:
Click here for Video


Carving and Turning
By: Richard Wright
Richard's presentation on Carving and Turning is very inspirational. He shows us examples of carvings on turnings in the following styles: Line Carving, Scalloping, Chip Carving, Low Relief, High Relief and Pierced Carvings. He closes with some great examples of work holding, which can often be a challenge with carving on a turning. If you've never carved a turning or just need some inspiration, this is the article for you.


What is chatter and how can you use it to your advantage? Fee-based Woodturning Articles by John Wolf
By: John Wolf
At my last turning club meeting a person who is new to turning asked why his spindle turning sometimes turned out rough. He said “the tool seems to vibrate and leave an uneven surface. It even made a funny noise when cutting.”


Epoxy for Woodturning
By: Will Hunt
In this short article, Will Hunt, a professional woodturner from Lexington, MA, explains how to make thin epoxy and then provides a list of different ways that it can be used by woodturners.


Dyeing Your Woodturnings
By: Jim Silva
In this article, Jim explains what dye is and why you would want to use it. He explains the process of dyeing your woodturnings and how to make them pop.


A Marriage of Textures
By: Paul Ross
In this article, Paul shows how to turn a platter and then he embellishes it using colored sand in two turned recesses in the rim. The colored grooves make for a stunning result.


Adding Texture to Wood
By: Mark Salusbury
In this article, Mark shows many different ways to adding texture to a turning. He demonstrates on some platters and they are stunning.


Coloring Burl and Figured Wood
By: Gary Sanders
Coloring burl wood with a combination of transparent acrylic paints, dyes, and inks can produce stunning multi-layered designs. Gary shows us the methods that he uses.


Ebonizing Rust Stain
By: Joe Woodworker.com


Using the Bowers Rasp in Spiral Turnings
By: Bill Bowers
In this article, Bill shows us how to use a rasp to create a spiral on our woodturnings. Bill sold these rasps at one time but I don't believe that he's doing this any longer but any good quality rasp should achieve the same goals.


Making your own Wood Burning Brands from Copper Nails
By: Mollly Winton
In this article, Molly shows us how to use a copper nail as a wood burning brand. Once you follow the process, your creative juices may help you to create other brands too!


Inlay Contrasting Colored Materials into your Turning
By: Ed Davidson
In this article, Ed shows us how he adds inlay into his pen turnings to really spice them up. And this technique can be used in any of your wood turning.


Stone Inlay in Woodturnings
By: Steven Hatcher
In this article, Steven shows us how to inlay stone into our turnings to create really dramatic effects.


Ebonizing Wood
By: Popular Woodworking
In this article, another technique for ebonizing wood is explained. It uses Bark Powder Tea as they key ingredient. Ebonizing wood is a great way to have black (ish) wood without the cost and issues associated with either Ebony or African Blackwood.

The wonderful contrast of the black wood is worth the effort, so we recommend that you check it out!


Piercing a Maple Leaf
By: Brian MacIvoy
In this tutorial, Brian shows us how he uses some hollow turning pieces to layout a maple leaf and then pierce it. He also shows how he air brushes them to add colors which really brings them to life!


Piercing: A Great Way to Embellish Your Work
By: Gord Langer
If you are looking to have some fun and want to embellish some of your turnings, why not try piercing? Where we live, the local wood species that we use on a regular basis are birch and maple. Both are great to turn but don't have a lot of figure, so to enhance our work we like to pierce our pieces.

In this tutorial, Gord Langer and Brian MacIvoy explain how they pierce their wood turnings. And they are extremely creative in their efforts.

I hope this inspires you to give piercing a try. It will expand your variety of pieces and certainly provide the "WOW" factor for your friends and customers.


Marbling for your Wood Turnings
By: Gord Langer
In this tutorial, Gord shows us how to prepare a marbling bath and how to dip your turnings to get a marbled finish. This technique really dresses up a turning into a colorful piece of art.

If you're looking for a way to dress up a bland turning, this might be a good way to go!


Marbling, the Sequel
By: Gord Langer
This article is a follow-up article to the Marbling article that was created a couple of years earlier that was also made by Brian MacIvoy and Gord Langer.

This tutorial starts at the very beginning and explains everything about marbling so if you have any interest, this would be a good article to read.


CA Finishing on Marbled Pieces
By: Gord Langer
In this article, Gord shows how he finishes some of his marbled pieces with a CA finish. And this technique could easily be used for other turned pieces including pens.

Brian believes that a CA finish gives a superior finish that provides the completed piece with depth and luster that will stand up to punishing treatment for a long time.


Using Wood Bleach
By: Jeff Jewitt
In this article, finishing expert, Jeff Jewitt explains all about the different kinds of bleaches that can be used on wood.


Bleaching Wood
By: American Woodworker Editors
This short article explains the different chemicals used to bleach wood.


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