How the magic happens...
My process of creating – or turning – a wood bowl is fairly straightforward. First, I mount a piece of freshly cut (green) wood on a lathe. Once the lathe is spinning at 500 rpm, I apply a very sharp tool to the wood and begin to shape the rough bowl.
The bowl is then set aside to dry for two months…an eternity to some woodworkers. During this period, the wood may warp and often cracks along its growth rings. After the drying period, the final challenge lies in the wood itself, the tools, the craftsman’s skills, and design.
Typically, I use “found” wood, creatively referred to as “urban” wood. Whenever I hear the sound of chainsaw in my neighborhood or come across a pile of wood, I see a new bowl! Sharp chisels, grinder, and a wood lathe will complete my vision.
Turning on a lathe is similar to what a potter does with clay, but in reverse. In wood turning, the bowl is formed by cutting away the wood. Tool marks are removed using scraping chisels and and sanding materials. Finishing options include oils, dyes, and spray lacquers. When everything goes right, the outcome is a beautiful bowl. It could be a piece of art, a functional bowl, or even a candlestick. Recently I’ve been exploring textures and stitching to add another dimension of design.
“Taking a gouge to a spinning piece of log and watching the ribbons of wood fly off is one of my favorite pastimes!”