Evolution of a Salt Shaker Pepper Mill

I’ve been making alterations to these salt shaker/pepper mill dolls. This is the latest. Note that one figure does both salt & pepper in one.

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This one has no plate on top for the salt shaking. Instead, I drilled multiple rows of holes through the hair part to pour salt from the head.

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Also, notice how the bow is now seated right at the hair. This is due to the hole through the hair. I also changed the regular nut for adjusting the grind of the pepper. It’s now a simple thin nut hidden within that hole in the hair part.

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The hair on this doll is maple burl, natural color except for the addition of Antique Oil.

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The body was first dyed black to show the wrinkles (the figure in the maple wood). this layer of dye was heavily sanded back to reveal the wood’s natural color. The body was then painted with white by airbrush.

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The flowers and leaves were designed on the computer and printed. Once they were adhered to the wood, the design was burned through with a very sharp wood burning tool.

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Color in the flowers and leaves (including the one on the bow) was done with light fast markers, and blended with a xylene marker.

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The whole figure was coated with Antique Oil to enhance the colors and the figure. The face was also added by wood burning and blended light fast markers.

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Notice the part in the hair?

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Watch for future evolution of these dolls. I’m working on a few new things.


Lorna & Cathy’s Dolls

These were made as an order for two ladies I know. They run a really good deli that a group of us turners frequent. They gave me their selection of colours and gave me the reigns for design. I delivered them today.

The dolls are salt shakers _and_ pepper mills – one figure does both, no need to buy two. The salt is held in the head; tip her upside down and shake to dispense the salt. The pepper is held in the body; twist the head to grind the pepper and adjust the grind by turning the part on top.

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In her colour selections, Cathy suggested that if I could throw in some gold that’d be ok too so I did. The idea came to create a hat with a gold rim for her doll to wear. The hat needed a band (textured by burning) and a feather but how to make the feather solid so that daily handling wouldn’t affect it? Similar to the way that others have demonstrated, I embedded real feathers in epoxy, only I used a can for the form and molded the feather at an angle to give it some realistic curves. It’s actually two feathers layered together.

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Lorna showed me the colours she wanted in the design glazed in a small dish. The maple burl was fun to colour with my usual technique of adding multiple layers using special magic markers and blending them with alcohol. She said the colours are bang on. She also loves the effect in the flower on the doll’s dress. The way I textured it and painted it, each petal changes colours as you move the doll and view it from a different angle. The bow on top was turned on 4 surfaces and carved on the other two.

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