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Friday, March 22, 2013

Back To Bowls, In A Big Way

This turning thing is addicting. I have not posted much lately because I have been so busy at the lathe. After my little adventure into the world of pens, and a lot of practice, and then some more practice, it was time to get back to some bowls. However, I did not set out in the beginning to do the little tiny bowls I have been doing though. Those are great for potpourri or candy dishes. I began this journey though because I remember these large wooden mixing bowls my grandmother used to have. That's what I want to work up to.
My first few attempts at large bowls were glaring examples of what failure is. I don't give up though. I finally felt the confidence to try again.
This bowl is close to five inches deep, and eight inches in diameter. It isn't  a huge mixing bowl, but it is a giant leap towards what I want to learn to do. I was proud of it.
This bowl is made of sycamore. I did not have material big enough. So it is made of three layers of wood, glued up, and then turned as if it was one solid piece. I've seen a lot of other people doing these type of glued up bowls. So I decided to give it a shot and am very pleased with the results.
I wasn't ready to settle there though. Since I was using glue now, I wanted to do something that made a statement. I wanted something that would get attention.
This bowl is the same size as the sycamore bowl, but it is made up of glued up strips of pecan. I used light and dark shades of the same wood, and randomly mixed them up in the glue up. I had to build this up in layers a couple of layers at a time. I had to work quickly as I worked with each layer to get it clamped back up before the glue started setting up on me. I was scared I would sacrifice strength if it was not clamped before the glue started setting.
Both of the bowls are finished with butcher block conditioner. I am not sure yet what is going to be my preferred finish for bowls that are to be used in the kitchen. I'm still researching and testing different finishes. I am trying to find something that gives me the look I'm after, while still being food safe. I have been told, and believe myself, that all finishes are food safe once fully cured. However, in this day and age, where over protection is the norm, I have come to the conclusion that on things such as this, it is better to err on the side of caution.

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