Bowl Making Process

Cutting blanks for turning.

The question always arises regarding how long it takes to make a bowl. There is quite a long process involved in transforming a roadside log into a finished work of art.

The journey begins with the collecting of wood and bringing it back to the studio. From there the wood needs to be sealed to keep it from cracking and stored for various time periods depending on the species to achieve the desired spalting effects within the wood.

The sanding process.

When the wood is ready for the first phase of shaping it will be cut with a chain saw or band saw to make it sort of round. From there the piece will be turned down to achieve the rough outside shape desired. The shape will often be altered along the way as characteristics of the wood are revealed. The next step is to remove the bulk of the wood from the inside. The roughed out bowl is now ready to go back on the curing shelf for a minimum of six months to a year.

Once the roughed bowl has sufficiently dried it can be re-mounted on the lathe and the upper portion can be turned down to its final thickness. Depending on the overall size of the piece that may be 1/8“ or less. The finish is then applied and the bowl will move on to a drying rack to let the oil fully cure. After three to four weeks the bowl can be moved back to the lathe where the bottom will be turned down and the appropriate foot will be shaped on the bowl. Once again more finish will be applied to the lower part of the bowl and back to the drying rack it will go.

Drying racks.

The final phase includes a buffing process using multiple compounds and buffing wheels. After scrutinizing the piece for any areas that need touching up it will be ready for the artist’s signature on the bottom.

The bowl is now ready for a good home!