A to Z: bevel

(A note: When I started the A to Z series at the beginning of the year, I planned to do these themed entries every Friday. Long story short, I missed a Friday out sick, and threw out that schedule. There will be an alphabet entry each week. But that looser schedule makes me feel freer to write as I am inspired, and when I am inspired – I write a better entry! So stay tuned. I am excited about my A to Z list!) 

B is for BEVEL.  

a : the angle that one surface or line makes with another when they are not at right angles b : the slant of such a surface or line

Please allow me to introduce you to an all-star tool, a favorite in the tool box – the treasured bevel tool!

bevel tool 

These are hand made by Bob Carver – yes, that is his real name… It’s made of exotic hardwoods, from managed growth forests. I think mine is made of Bubinga. He made the first ones for Lana Wilson – ceramic artist and shrine builder, and an idol of mine… I had the good fortune of studying with her at Penland a couple of years ago. An amazing experience, like no other…

I used to make my slab constructed shrines with regular corners, slab meeting edge; a butt joint. Then the corners would have to be smoothed or pared down after the fact. The beveled corners are smooth, sleek and clean. Since Penland I have been incorporating more texture on the surfaces of my shrines. The beveled corner means the textures arent altered or distorted when I put the sides together. So wonderful, and its a gorgeous tool, to boot. A pleasure to use. 

Here is the process simplified: 

slabs cut

Slabs are cut from leather hard clay. 

cutting bevel

Cutting the bevel edge on a side wall. 

score and slip

With the pin end of the tool – scoring and slipping. Scoring the surface – roughing it up. Slip – a clay and water paste, which acts as a “glue”. 

interior construction

The trimmings from the edge are the perfect size and shape to fill in and reinforce interior seams!

interior complete

The piece – assembled. From here there is carving and/or distressing the surface, drying, firing… Many steps still to go. Dont worry – I will show you more along the way. 

 

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