chat log

"Turning and Off-Lathe Decoration"

a Special Guest Chat with

with host
Steve Russell

April 9, 2008
9:30 pm EDT

SteveRussell Hello everyone and welcome to tonight's Turning Chat. Our special guest tonight is Jacques Vesery. Welcome Jacques to the WoodCentral Chat room and thank you for joining us.
Lan_B hi Jacques
Jeff_RICH_IN good evening Jacques
Mike_S Indeed, thank you
Ed_in_Leaside hi Jacques
Jacques bonsoir mes amis... comment ca va?
Mike_S Yo no hablo
Lan_B thanks for dropping by!
Ed_Karch ca va bien merci
Ed_in_Leaside tres bien
Dick_H Evening Jacques
CaroleV Oh yeah...let's do this in French! LOL
Mike_S I barely speak English and we are speaking French
Dick_H Jacques, are you enjoying Elvie's hollow form>?
Jacques thanks for inviting me... I've been looking forward to this, even though Mac said I was nuts.... this is my first time doing this, so be gentle gang... and I promise no more francais
SteveRussell We will be gentle...
Mike_S Carole, be gentle with Jacques
CaroleV Maybe :)
SteveRussell Let's try to keep the questions to a couple at a time, so Jacques has a chance to a post a reply.
Jacques Dick, you would bring that up as a first item::smile it will get done someday and Elvie is ok with that.
keithz hi John
Dick_H Could not resist.
Mike_S Jacques, wonderful website
John_Lucas Jacques I love the starfish looking pieces
SteveRussell Jacques, you have one of the best websites I've seen!
Ellis Hi Jacques. I'm so glad to have you here with us tonight. Your work is really unique and at the cutting edge of turning and decoration.
Lan_B It is an informative website and easy to navigate
Jacques if anyone still has not visited my website which is fairly new it is as simple as
SteveRussell Let's get started. Jacques can you give us an idea of how long you have been turning?
CaroleV Jack, your pieces look almost translucent, they look that way in life or is the lighting a factor?
Jacques Steve, I started turning as a kid but really got into it in 1991 when we moved to ME
SteveRussell Did you begin carving first?
Jacques Carole, lighting, or the way light plays on a piece, is very important to me... and yes they look like they do in the images, maybe even more so
SteveRussell You pieces have incredible depth...
SteveRussell Jacques, many of your pieces include carved feathers? What was your inspiration for these pieces?
CaroleV Do you use special techniques with you dye or paints to achieve that? It fascinates me!
DavePeebles Jack, the videos on the woodworking channel are really well done. I really enjoyed seeing your work space
Jacques I always worked with wood but never really thought about carving... still don't.
Stephen_S do your turnings inspire your carving?
Jacques Thanks, the videos are nice... the only thing that is missing is my work. I tried to get them to put in some stills for those that don't know what I do.
Jacques Neither... form inspires proportion
keithz Jacques, what type of dye do you use to achieve the depth of color in your pieces?
Jacques Carole, as for techinque (got a few days?), it is very hard to put into words. The basis is a layering of colors... usually a minimum of seven.
Mike_S Jacques, I was wondering what woods do you like to work in best?
SteveRussell What are your favorite woods to work with?
Jacques Color is almost always heavy pigment acrylics that are very fluid
SteveRussell Like airbrush colors?
Mac like a wash?
Jacques I work mostly in cherry. it is middle of the road, not too hard not too soft and it holds a good line
Mike_S So you prefer finer grained hardwoods
Stephen_S does the brittleness of cherry limit your designs?
Molly I agree with those properties of cherry. I've found that has become my favorite domestic wood for carving/burning too.
Jacques Most airbrush paints are a bit too thin for me ... chroma paints are great... and I use a lot of golden paints
SteveRussell Jacques, what carving tools do you use the most?
Molly I have to depend upon Mac to supply me though, and we know how miserly he can be
Jacques No limit with cherry. It depends how you cut the blank though
Mac You're cut off, Molly!
CaroleV I just can't believe it...they look so "light" ... not the impression of paint at all!
Molly Rats, I was afraid of that....sigh :-)
CaroleV If you would be nice to your sister, she would send you some cherry. ;)
Wally Jacques, all of the pieces of yours that I've seen are quite small. Do you ever do larger pieces?
Jacques Carole, when you look at a piece, what color do you see?
DavePeebles Jack, do you have a piece for the auction this year?
Jacques ...and that's wicked good cherry, right Mac?
CaroleV On yours I see beach glass! LOL
Mac the best
CaroleV I see all sorts of colors in wood Jack, depending on how I hold it and what it represents to me
Jacques Dave, are you kidding? Bonnie doesn't send me anything to work on 'til the night before the symposium
SteveRussell Jacques, does your previous diving experience lend inspiration to your sea forms?
CaroleV Your diving experience had to have influenced your use of colors
Jacques My inspiration does come from my life and not always in ways I realize. I have always lived near the ocean... heck I lived under the ocean for a full year and a half in days
Mac Are you planning on doing a piece for Richmond this year?
DavePeebles Jack, do you have a pic of you in the torpedo tube on your site. That is a classic
SteveRussell Your work is truly inspirational Jacques
CaroleV Why did you ask me what colors I see, Jack? I know you were going somewhere with that.
Jacques I don't have the tube pic on the site, but, for you Dave? Ccheck it tomorrow. :-)
DavePeebles Cool!!
SteveRussell Mostly acrylics and chroma paints
Ellis What kind of carving tools are you using, Jacques? Grinders? Chisels? Knives? All of the above?
Stuart Do you sketch out a design prior to starting new piece?
Jacques Carole, if you look at a piece that is green you see green, but most people's minds are tricked into seeing a color, and there are dozens, the first always being black
DavePeebles Do you still have the Half-Way lathe Jack?
CaroleV But, black is the absence of color...
SteveRussell Is that why you layer your colours Jacques?
Jacques Carving tools... I use a woodburner mostly... not for the burn but the cut
Ellis Ah, so you layer your colors and use transparency to create depth?
keithz not in pigment Carole
CaroleV To the eye
CaroleV True Keith
CaroleV I'm usual
Molly Jacques, do you have a set up to keep the smoke away from you?
keithz Black emphasizes the negative space...that means the positive space jumps to the front of your vision
Stephen_S Depends on whether it is additive or subtractive colors Carol
Jacques Color. Yes, there is depth, but transition as well...most pieces are actually different colors at each end
Stephen_S Additive colors... include all colors and it is black
keithz as in pigment Stephen
Stephen_S Subtractive colors... include no colors and it is white
Jacques Mac you jump in I will answer half the questions and you answer half.
keithz as in light
Molly I think Stephen S has more than the 64 count box
Stephen_S reflective or refracted
Mac this is your show tonite
Ellis Some of your forms are only barely recognizable as turned objects. Where does turning end and sculpture begin?
Stephen_S but I do color within the lines
Molly Ooooo Ellis, the BIG question. You're so brave. :-)
CaroleV Yes, I see they are now that I look. That must be what creates the beautiful light, ethereal effect.
Ellis :-)
Jacques Don't get caught up in the black/white/no color stuff... you can't change many colors much without either
Molly Are you all looking at Jacques' work? what's the link?
CaroleV Do you do you coloring under natural light?
Jacques Turned or not turned, THAT is the Question!
Jacques I work under very bright halogens but check the colors thru the whole process in evry spectrum I can.
Molly Damn!....I mean %&*$#@#, I've not seen your feathered starfish before. That's a beaut!
SteveRussell Jacques, how long does it take on average to complete one of your pieces from start to finish?
CaroleV I love the Spirit Stones too
John_Lucas Molly, that was the piece that I liked also
CaroleV Steve! How can you ask that question??? LOL
CaroleV The question all turners hate!
Mike_S I love the starfish but I also love the teapots
Ellis Jacques' work has always appealed to me at a level beyond turning and woodworking.
Jacques my wife Minda says the answer is always "countless hours"
Mike_S It looks like countless hours
CaroleV Me too Ellis. They look like if you went to hold one your hand, it would just slip through it like vapor
John_Lucas I agree Ellis. The only time I'm concerned about the process is simply for my knowledge. I accept the pieces for what they are, not how they are made.
Stuart Carole, I've never understood why turners hate that question unless someone is trying to put an hourly wage on an item.
Ellis Do you find that you hit a groove after a certain amount of time in the shop?
Stephen_S It is woodwork that moves
Jacques Spirit stones... would you like them as much if they were turned round? turn when you need to turn....
CaroleV I hate it because I have no idea and can't answer it!
CaroleV No...they would not have nearly the appeal if they were round
Ellis Spoken like a true sculptor, Jacques. I think that is the essence of your work.
keithz Jacques, I really like the piece in the Basic Black show. How did you accomplish the texture of the body of the piece?
Jacques The groove... yes, at night the house is quiet and I can go on for hours, many nights 'til 2 or 3am
Molly I agree Jacques, it's just one more tool in our arsenal
Mike_S Jacques, do you work on multiple pieces at one time or do you get inspired by one idea and see it through to completion
SteveRussell Jacques, I finf the early morning hours the best for fine detail work. There is something very Zen about the silence and that seems to encourage creativity.
CaroleV Do you walk in your rock garden before you start work?
Jacques We have all seen beautiful utility bowls throughout history and in contemporary times that are not turned, yet they are still appealing. The point is to use the lathe when you need to, not because you have to.
CaroleV To me that would be a wonderful catalyst for creativity
Jacques I am a morning person... but laundry seems to get done better then than work
CaroleV That's not very inspiring! LOL
Ellis Do you start with sketches?
Jacques Catalysts are everywhere... my friends look at me very strangely when I am on my knees in the market parking lot looking at the texture close up
Stephen_S Coiled pottery pots can look just like wheel thrown pots (vertical lathe)
Ellis ...and do you have lots of paint experiments that you do prior to launching into a new project?
CaroleV I guess there is...even in the folds of dirty laundry...
Mike_S Linen folds.....
SteveRussell Inspiration is where you find it!
SteveRussell I find a lot at 37,000 feet... The textures of the clouds are amazing at times.
Jacques Sketches... I don't like to sketch because I do sketches like finished work, so then to me the piece is already finished... I have been keeping a sketch book though, since memory is not what it used to be
Ellis So you just dive into the piece and let it take shape as you work?
SteveRussell Jacques, do you ever use a digital camera to capture inspirational items or textures to use for later reference?
Jacques Clouds are great but so hard for me... painted, yes, as in the interior of one of my seaforms
CaroleV Do you ever just throw a piece away because it's not what you wanted it to be?
Jacques I have files and files of images... I never use them as a reference, though, just for inspiration... My goal is always to create the illusion of reality.
Mike_S Have you ever considered incorporating the texture and colors of lichens into your work? Some of the bloom colors of lichens are extraordinary
Jacques No, Carole, I give those to Mac... or my mother in law... whoever is closest.
CaroleV LOL!
Ellis There are amazing lichens on top of Cadillac Mountain.
Jacques We have a great variety of lichens in ME. The best ones all seem to be at the tops of mountains.
SteveRussell Jacques, do you use an airbrush for painting/colouring the interiors of your pieces?
Mac I only have one Vesery piece and I won that many years ago in the club raffle.
Jacques Steve, only once or twice, and recently at that... The new pieces on my site that do not have leaf on the interior are airbrushed.
CaroleV I have tried several times to do a Lady Slipper...the last time I tried, I thought to myself...only Vesery could pull this off!
Molly What's a lady slipper look like Carole?
Ellis How would you advise someone about getting into this kind of sculpted work? Does it begin with the creation of form, as with clay? Or does it begin with techniques, like turning, painting, carving.....?
CaroleV Google them...they are a beautiful wild flower, rare
Molly will do
Mike_S Some are made from glass, Molly but princesses wear them
Jacques Suggestion on the lady slipper... next time try the texture of the flower on something it does not belong on.... a turning maybe?
Molly Good question Ellis. Jacques, you have such an amazing ability to achieve multiple layers of depth with your carving. Your surfaces are a wonder to study.
Jacques Form is so important to me... it is the root of any object we create
Ellis So it begins with an image of a form in your mind.
Jacques Techinque is important but, without learning to see good design elements, what use is techinque?
CaroleV Hmmm...never got to the texture part...was just trying to carve and hollow one...the texture would be another challenge
Ellis Do you use ball mills and die grinders some of the time, for the more macro work?
Jacques Yes, which can be very hard when you think about the seaforms, which are turned in most cases.
Ellis ...and do you use a pneumatic handpiece or a flex-shaft for burr work?
Jacques Burrs are usually the starting point for any of the textures... creating what I call the form within the form, i.e., a feather form mimics the vessel form at the point where it is located
Jacques Ellis, I use a flex shaft and micro motor.
CaroleV Did you say you used the burner to do the feathers?
SteveRussell Jacques, have you ever worked with materials other than wood? For example, alabaster, or metals?
Mike_S Does Minda have a collection of your work, Jacques?
Jacques As for getting into a sculptural realm, so to speak... don't force it but experiment as much as you can.
CaroleV I just managed to get a vise so I will be experimenting more now
Ellis ...and think of yourself as a sculptor, with the lathe as just part of your arsenal of tools to get you to the end result...?
DavePeebles Jack, who do you think have been your greatest influences in your work
Jacques Collections, yes, we have a family rule which we try to stick to... it started with keeping one piece per year for the family (Minda's collection) but we have expanded that to include both of the boys, so they each get one piece per year as well.
CaroleV Do they get to pick the piece?
Mac adopt me?
Molly lol
SteveRussell Me too...
CaroleV and me
keithz I asked before, but what technique do you use to create the texture such as used on the body of the piece in the Basic Black show?
Jacques When I say I am a woodturner, most folks have no idea what that is; when I say I am a sculptor they leave it at that or ask what medium.
SteveRussell I find that to be the case as well...
Mac when I say that...they just chuckle
Jacques Carole, I wish they could pick the piece, but that is not always possible
Mike_S Do you do pieces for their birthdays?
Molly we all do Mac
Mike_S Molly......
Jacques Feather texture is mostly done with the burner but there are several steps in layers.
SteveRussell Jacques, do you use some type of basecoat (white, or other colour) before you apply the colours?
Ellis How long did you experiment with these media and techniques before they all came together for you, Jacques?
Jacques Base coats... because the surface is usually burned in various stages of brown, each piece starts with a base coat of India ink scrubed in with a tooth brush.
SteveRussell Interesting...
CaroleV You mean those Sea forms all started as black?
Jacques The first big mistake was the charmer... yes, a mistake is how the the coloring all started.
SteveRussell Your pieces are truly amazing Jacques and you are an inspiration to all of us.
Mike_S Serendipitous and fortuitous mistake I would say.
Jacques Carole, yes, black, even the lightest ones... if you go back and look again you will see it, but again it is that illusion
DavePeebles Jack, thanks for stopping by tonight. It was really interesting. Please feel free to stop by the turning forum anytime you like. :)
Ellis I'm just amazed that you can pull it off with opaque media like acrylics.
Jacques I call the mistake my great depifony
Mike_S I would say you are correct
Molly I need a depifony
Mike_S It has certainly resulted in beautiful work for us all to admire
Ed_Karch Merci, Jacques
Jacques See your doctor for a RX, Molly.
Ellis :-)
Mac ever do a purple one Jack?
CaroleV I can see the black in the details but it is hard for me to grasp that Watery Skies started as all black! LOL
Mike_Hunter What is a depifony
Jacques A depihony is when you do that v* smack on the head
CaroleV Oh...I have those!
Mike_Hunter I understand
CaroleV Only mine are "duh!s"
Mike_Hunter Is that like oh @@#$
Jacques duhpiphonies are good too
Molly lol
CaroleV LOL
Mike_S I am very familiar with duhpiphonies
Ellis Anything that gets you there.
Molly Yes, Mike, but then you look again, and say, "ooooo, wait a minute....."
Jacques No, it's %$#@#&, that looks good!
Mike_S Usually I say "Oh no!"
SteveRussell Well it looks like we've come to the end of our scheduled chat. Thanks so much Jacques for being our guest tonight and for sharing a little of your passion for form, colours, textures, sculpture and turning. Please feel free to stick around for our open chat everyone.
Mike_S Thank you very much Jacques, it was wonderful to have insight into your creative thought process
CaroleV My turning is like the Road Less Traveled...I never know where I am going until I get there
Jacques You are all quite welcome... my pleasure, a bientot.
DavePeebles Thanks Jack
CaroleV Thanks, Jack...
Molly Whew, got though the formal part mostly well behaved, now I can let my hair down..
Ellis And that has made all the difference, Carole.
DavePeebles Indeed Molly :)
Ellis Oh oh
CaroleV Sometimes don't see the dead ends!
Mac Did better than I expected you to do Molly
Ellis There are no dead ends, Carole.
Molly thank you Mac
CaroleV Mac, I thought you were going to go type for Jack?
Mac yw
SteveRussell It's like a maze Carole. If you get a dead end, back up and go another way... :-)
Mac didnt ask me to
Ellis Do you have a backlog of orders, Jacques?
Jacques Back log... yes, I am scheduling exhibits in 2011.
Ellis But you only sell at exhibits, right? People don't commission pieces?
CaroleV Fraid you would dumpster dive at his house...
CaroleV Done that too Steve!
Mac a garbage bag would starve tro death over there
Molly That's a good busy Jacques
CaroleV LOL
Jacques I do not do commission work... just make what I want... the problem is I can't make them fast enough.
Molly That just raises your prices
DavePeebles That is not a problem Jack :)
CaroleV Good for you Jack...I hate doing what someone else wants me to do!
Jacques I tried that... again and again
Ellis Do you need the gallery venue, or can you sell privately?
Jacques I can do with or without either but a good gallery is worth it's weight.
CaroleV Have you had any bad gallery experiences?
Jacques Oh yeah... the last one stemmed around being badgered into doing a commission... never again.
Mac I think I'll open a small gallery here. Want to put some pieces in Jack?
CaroleV LOL
Jacques I will bag groceries before I do that again... broke my own rule because of gallery pressures
CaroleV You were miserable the whole time you worked on the commission piece, right? :)
Jacques I would, Mac, but your wife would not let you sell them... and with so many woodstoves in your place....hmmm, I would be nervous
Mac Is that a no?
Jacques You don't know the half of it... ask me in person sometime... just not in front of the buyer.
Jacques , gang.. I need to get in a few more miles on the bike before going back to work... Jean Francois and I will be riding in the countryside every day before I teach...I'm in training... also been training my wine drinking elbow.... it's tough but someone has to do it
Ellis Jacques, I have to call it a night, too. I really appreciate your taking the time to join us here tonight.
Mike_S Enjoyed this immensely, have a good night everyone. Thanks again Jacques
DavePeebles LOL thanks Jack
CaroleV Nite Jack and thanks for a great chat!
Molly thanks a bunch Jacques
Mac say Nite to Minda for us....
Ellis See you all later....
SteveRussell Thanks Jacques!

Visit Jacques' Web Site. CLICK HERE...