something eXtree
Fine handmade crafts
Turned wood and pyrographic art

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Bill Day     &     Rita Ferrara


Bill creates one-of-a-kind bowls, vase forms,
plates, and other wooden objects,
turned on a lathe.

Bill has been creating turned wood items since New Year's Day, 1989, when he announced, "I've been doing my New Year's revolutions." (Yes, it was a dreadful pun but we are equally at fault in this....). Exploring the properties of a given piece of wood led him to try innovative shapes and techniques that became more and more creative. Now he is known for his imaginative use of irregular pieces of wood and for his willingness to let the wood dictate the final form of the piece.

Shapes and sizes vary from miniature to conventional bowls to one-of-a-kind natural-edged forms. Style varies from free form to precisely turned boxes with multiple inlays and press fitted lids.

The shape of each piece is determined by the character of the wood and brings out its unique qualities of grain and color. Both local wood and non-endangered exotic woods are used. Bill knows the source of almost every piece of wood he turns, and often has a story about its history.

All the colors in his pieces are natural to the wood. Bill uses no stains and almost no varnishes, preferring to oil each piece, then buff it to a sheen over a thin coat of wax.

Rita woodburns and paints original art
on wooden boxes, plaques, and tagua palm nuts.

Rita uses woodburning tools to draw, carve and engrave original art on wood, tagua nuts and other natural materials.

She calls her personal style of woodburning pyro-engraving or pyro-carving. She enjoys using an assortment of woodburning pens to draw, shade, texture and carve, giving her images a three-dimensional effect which creates beautiful patterns of fur, feathers, scales and other textures, and adds depth and a lifelike look to the subject.

Her painting techniques complement the pyro-engraving. Her brushwork reflects the skill in creating fur and feathers that she has learned from pyro-carving. Her colors are laid down gradually, with many transparent layers of acrylic paint, so that light passes through the various layers of underpainting to the wood. This creates rich, shimmering color, especially after it is covered with a protective coat of lacquer.

All colors used are light fast. Woodburned areas are reinforced as needed with oil or acrylic paint to ensure against fading.

Rita's work is done on boxes, plaques and magnets, and on necklace pendants made of sliced tagua pine nuts ("vegetable ivory").

Something eXtree
11610 Gail Street, Wheaton, MD 20902-2454

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