The third “model” in my supported spindle fashion show is a type of Spanish Peacock spindle we call a “ninja”.
Why “ninja” you ask?
It started as a joke (as many things do around here). Mike made a spindle that was a cross between a bead spindle (small round whorl) and a Tibetan (larger, rim-weight whorl) and described it as a “New Age Mutant Ninja Spindle.” And the name ninja stuck.
It’s completely appropriate, too. Thanks to its engineering, a ninja is fast, and lightweight, and long spinning – in other words, everything I love in a supported spindle.
This particular ninja shares may of the same characteristics as my other spindles. You’ll probably get sick of hearing (reading) me say (write) this: the shaft is slightly over 11″, which is the perfect length for my torso and where my bowl rests in my lap. The weight is a mere 20 grams, which allows me to pile lots of cop onto the shaft before my hand strength gives out.
The wood for the whorl is a dyed birch laminate called “Spectraply”, which has vibrant colors in addition to being lightweight. The shaft is chakte viga, probably my favorite wood of all because I love that warm, orange glow!
This spindle is unique of all my collection because I actually picked the whorl and shaft wood and he made it to my specs. (Even though he didn’t seem convinced about the color combination!) Usually my spindles are gifts, or ones I “borrowed” and never returned, or seconds that weren’t worthy of being sold as with the “Spanish Peacock” name.
This beauty, however, was just for me, the way I wanted it!
So if I could design any spindle I wanted, why not go with the super fancy woods for which Spanish Peacock is famed? Especially ebony for the shaft, given how hard and straight and gorgeous ebony is?
It all goes back to function. Since I am a process spinner, I spin for fun, and I want my spindles to perform *just* *so*. Heavy woods like ebony make beautiful shafts, at the price of speed and momentum because more of the spindle’s weight is at the center (the shaft) rather than the edges (the whorl, especially a rim-weighted one like a ninja or Tibetan). As the cop builds up, it will eventually create this same effect (spinning slower with less momentum), so I’d rather not start that way! That’s why I designed this spindle with a chakte viga shaft.
Plus, just look at that color!
(If you missed the first two posts in this series, you can find them here and here.)