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.


Vases for Pat & Denise

The rectangular block was cut in half and one part was rounded, revealing a small knot and inclusion (the bark).


When the second half was rounded, it revealed this amazing figure. The depth of the waves was mesmerizing.


Here are the two forms basically shaped. Hollowing was next.


The inclusion became more pronounced with the shaping of the form1208868_1491654017721190_6588471321538376338_n

On this form, the figure became deeper and even more interesting all the time during the shaping


This is the finial that I designed previously with the addition of the bead near the bottom that replicates the shape of the form. The collar is made from Elm.


The same picture with the form turned a bit to show the other side.



The plug/finial removed. The plug is made from a small piece of dyed maple burl. The grove in the plug separates the dyed section from the bottom button


This is the form with more figure, completed with it’s collar, plug & finial. This plug stands a little higher than the other. They’re interchangeable so either finial can be mounted on either form.


The same form, turned a bit, showing off its figure.


Turned again to show a lot of figure.10264963_1491651657721426_181701264334580552_n

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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Japanese Doll Salt Shaker and Pepper Mill

Salt Shaker and Pepper Mill Japanese DollA Japanese Doll that’s also a Salt Shaker and Pepper Mill. The salt is in the head and the pepper is in the body. Tip the doll upside down and shake to get the salt or turn the head to grind the pepper. The bow tie on top adjusts the grind. The mechanism makes it easy to replenish the seasonings inside. The doll is made from dyed Maple Burl (the body), Holly (the head) and dyed Yellow Cedar (the hair).

Salt Shaker and Pepper Mill Japanese DollSalt Shaker and Pepper Mill Japanese Doll

Japanese Doll Salt Shaker & Pepper Mill


Salt Shaker and Pepper Mill Japanese DollDesigned in the shape of a Japanese Kokeshi doll, this salt shaker & pepper mill has multiple functions. Salt is stored inside the head of the sculpture and pepper is stored in the body. Turn the head to grind the pepper or tip the doll upside down and shalt to dispense salt. The bun on top is also the adjustment for the grind. Remove the bun and the metal disc to add more salt and remove the head to replenish the pepper. The salt and the pepper never mix. The grinding mechanism is ceramic, meaning that it will never get dull. The wood is figured Maple for the body, Maple burl for the hair and the bun and the head is Maple. The hair and the body were dyed and the figure is protected with 9 coats of food safe finish.

Salt Shaker and Pepper Mill Japanese Doll Salt Shaker and Pepper Mill Japanese Doll

Hollywood Farmer

Hollywood Farmer - Vancouver Artist Jay Mapson
The Hollywood Farmer was inspired from many weeks spent in Asia over several years. Every part is turned except his body and the base on which he stands (the bead on his hat cord and the buttons on his tunic). The baskets are lidded boxes and are intended to hide secret treasures. This endeavor comprises many new techniques that I’ve never tried before, texturing on the baskets and the hat, mounting a piece on a base, net tying, etc.

The Hollywood Farmer is made entirely from Holly branches, including the buttons and hat cord bead, his hat, head, limbs and body. The baskets are lidded boxes made from Maple. The netting that holds the baskets and the hat cord are made from Jute. The pole is Dogwood, turned to resemble bamboo, and then heated and clamped in a jig to obtain the bend. The base is a donated Yellow Cedar Burl. His clothing was created by a friend from Hong Kong with lots of consultation from several other friends.

48cm high, 38cm wide and 23cm deep