Victorian Staircase Spindles is a commission to reproduce Victorian Staircase Spindles for a vintage home in New York State. Along with the many repairs going on at the home, the contractor required several woodturning spindles for the staircase. Most of the work I do on the wood lathe is for my own enjoyment as well as producing items for galleries. Taking on commission work is a whole different story, at least for me. There are turners who only do commission work so they have experience making a replica. I do enjoy this type of work, but I do find it very stressful. There is no leeway for creative expression. There is no design license which I enjoy the most in creating objects. Commission work demands total focus, attention to detail and constant measuring. All of this and more is required in order to duplicate the existing part.
I produce all of my work in my Montvale, New Jersey, USA studio. The centerpiece tool is the wood lathe. There are very few items that come off the lathe as completed items. Thsi commission is an exception as finishing work was not required. Almost everything else will go to the workbench for a variety of finishing tasks including carving, piercing, staining, painting and sanding. These spindles did not require any secondary operations other than sanding and prepping for finishing. Sanding which is a tedious process for furniture builders is a snap for turners. We keep the piece on the lathe, turn up the desired speed and apply the sandpaper. In a short period of time the piece is smooth.