Are you ready for the next step?


Do you look but not see? The difference between pretty good and excellent is often very subtle.  Professional artists have learned that it is critical to stop and examine their work carefully before going on to the next step.  Is the shape right?  Are the curves fair?  Are there any bumps that look out of place?  Are the transitions crisp and sharp where they need to be?  Is the piece balanced?  If I take a full step back does what I see make me smile?  Am I ready for the next step?


It is very easy to be so focused on what’s coming next that we don’t take the time to be sure that this step is completely finished.  I sometimes find myself so eager to begin sanding that I don’t take that critical last look at the shape so I must return to refine it once again effectively doing the work twice.  For me, sanding is the most difficult.  I have learned to force myself to use a strong light and look very closely in order to ensure that I have removed all of the scratches from the previous grit before I move on.  At this stage in my career scratches which are visible under my finish have become like fingernails on a chalkboard.


Most of our projects have definite stages and steps.  Accomplished craftsman have developed the discipline to double and triple check their work at the end of each step before moving on.  When they are satisfied that everything which needs to be done has been done then and only then do they move on to the next step.  Human nature allows us to look without really seeing, to listen without hearing.  A major step to becoming a “professional” is in learning to see our work at every stage.  When the shape is just right, we can move on to the sanding.  When the sanding is just right, we can move on to the finishing.  When the finishing is just right, we can move on to finishing the finish.  A beautiful finish applied on a poorly shaped item cannot hide the poor design.  A simple question will serve you well, “Am I ready for the next step?”  Because, wherever you go there you are.


Here is my inspiration for this week’s message:

Ezekiel 12:2 KJV  Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see , and see not; they have ears to hear , and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.



Sweet Janice and I will be at Turning Southern Style XXI this weekend in Dalton, Georgia. Hope to see you there.


Time to Make The Christmas Gifts

Start Now, or it will get away from you.

African Blackwood Sale

I have secured a very limited supply of African Blackwood turning blanks 1" x 1" x 5-1/2". The photo shows a finial I just turned from one of the squares. Similar to Gabon Ebony, but easier to turn and much less brittle, this material is almost identical to ebony when turned. I recorded a couple of short videos for you including "Finials for Mortals". Tis the season for Christmas Ornaments.

Also wonderful for pen blanks, miniature bird house finials, etc.

Click Here for short video on African Blackwood (4 min)

Click Here info on ordering African Blackowood

Click Here to view "Finials for Mortals" (13 min)

Fancy Christmas Ornaments & Laser Cut Glue Up Kits How-To DVD set $29.99 (see below)


New Sharpening Set Up Jigs Available

The Amazing Flat Compass

Excellent for use with a Sharpie to mark out wet bowl blanks.

24" Diameter Capacity

For those of you in the Southeast, don’t forget about Turning Southern Style XXI September 18-20, 2015. I will be there as a vendor for sure, but I have also been asked to do a rotation on Fancy Christmas Ornaments and Fancy Finials.


Ron Brown's Best © 2015 http://www.ronbrownsbest.com





In case you didn't already know, I have posted tons of "Free Download" stuff on my web site.

"Free Downloads HERE"

Including Bottle Stopper Designs - 50 Plus classic designs. Free PDF

Remaining Summer Show Schedule 2015 -

Sept 2015, Turning Southern Style in Dalton, Ga. (Confirmed)

Oct 13, 2015 Chattahoochee Turners Club Evening meeting.