December 15, 2006
Entry Details

# 469
Robert Martin
Picture Butte, AB
Dimensions (inches):  
  Width:   4
  Height:   6-3/4
  Depth:   5
Materials:   Woodburned Hard Maple finished with black ink and satin acrylic varnish.

The blank that I turned this peppermill from has been sitting in my shop for close to two years and was earmarked for a small hollow form.  Being the blank was laminated from three stacked discs, the embellishments would need to mask the joints.  When the peppermill contest came up, I began think about what I could do, but nothing would come to mind, until I remembered a still life painting I had in an art magazine.  In the painting was this beautiful oriental lidded vase which this piece is loosely based on.  The design also fitted with the blank I had in my shop.  Interestingly, after completion I measured the peppermill and found it to coincide almost exactly with "Golden Rectangle".  When designing the piece I made sure the base was smaller than the top for good artistic proportions and nice "lift".

Most peppermills are, generally speaking, long and slender so one can hold them easily while grinding pepper.  My peppermill is short and stubby making it hard to hold while grinding.  After all, who wants a half pound chunk of maple dropping into their soup?  A handle or handles would spoil the form, so I opted for finger/thumb holes which do not disturb the form yet make the mill easy to hold while turning the top.  The holes were drilled using a Forstner bit after which the bottoms of the holes were decorated with "medallions" having the same motif as the surface.  
Admittedly this piece is an "art first" peppermill and will likely only come out with the Royal Dalton or other good china.
The surface treatment is as follows:  Woodburned and textured with spearpoint for lines and homemade "pointillist" tip for texture.  One coat of acrylic varnish to raise the grain, sanding, brush on top quality black acrylic ink, brush on three coats acrylic varnish with flow medium and drying retarder, fine sand, then last coat of varnish.

In order to fit a CrushGrind mechanism into this design, I had to modify the mechanism.
As you can see the driver is set into a spigot in the cap.  The driver was modified so it is removable in case something goes wrong with it, and that it does not run the risk of splitting the wood it is set into.

This view shows the screws and lexan ring holding the mechanism in place.  This method was needed in order to make the mechanism removable and to allow a small base.  The modifications make the machining of the wood and the fitting of the mechanism easier without hampering function.

Judges Comments
bob : Certainly not run of the mill (no pun intended). Very unique. Very nice!
Mary : Great piece. Very nicely done. One of my favorites.
nick : What a great idea. I would never suspect it to be a pepper mill. Great detailing.

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