Sand carved Bowls
|Much of my work is done with fresh green wood with which I deliberately utilize
the natural distortion of the wood as it dries to alter and enhance the shape of
the piece. Through study of the movement of various woods as they dry, how
the distortion is affected by grain orientation and wall thickness of the piece,
and by controlling the drying process itself, I am able to have some influence
over the final shapes the bowls take. But with much variation in different
woods, trees and even different wood from the same tree, the wood sometimes
has the final say.
This is from my Lunar Landscapes in Holly series. This is an example of an
bowl with an organic quality that would not have been possible in a bowl with a
foot. With the larger pieces in this series such as this one, the addition
of any non organic feature even such as a groove would have destroyed the power of
suggesting this bowl could have been formed in nature.
This piece is a continuation of my Lunar Landscape
in Holly series. It is a medium sized piece, with a groove along the rim
to accentuate the fairly extreme rim movement while deliberately
reducing the organic quality of the piece. In this case the groove works
for me because it accentuates the sudden movement in the rim as it dried
near the highest knot. In the more evenly balanced pieces in the same
series, especially the larger pieces, I usually prefer the complete lack
of added details such as a groove. The organic quality of this piece, to
me, is still strong enough in spite of the groove due to the wrinkling
of the wood as it dried, the stark white color, and the crunchy matte
texture of the piece.
bowl (round bottomed of course) was turned green. Each of the knots are centered in a flat facet on the bowl
from the way the area around the knots deformed during drying. To me this
added both energy and
interest to the piece. The bowl has been highly sanded and carefully finished
to show the wood as naturally as possible, as opposed to the way Monkey Puzzle or
Norfolk Island Pine bowls are more commonly finished -- which is with a heavy oil
finish that induces additional translucence at the expense of the clarity of the
wood itself. In this bowl the knots themselves are translucent forming "windows"
of light in the bowl. This bowl resides in the permanent collection of the
Woodturning Center in PA.
Green turned holly bowl with a single raised bead. This is not an
illusion, the bowl and bead curve gracefully from the very intentional
orientation of the wood.
turned cherry bowl with the natural edge. The striking
grain, the thin sapwood layer and the even elongation as the bowl dried help make the bowl
elongated bowl was from the largest diameter (33 inches) apple tree I have ever worked. The
tree had much decay, though, and most of the size of the original blank had to be
date the largest of the series "Entropy."
Sometimes explorations in form
require giving up tight control to allow for a looser
kind of energy in the final piece. I learn what I can
about the wood, but ultimately the material speaks for
itself. I have worked with madrone burl extensively since 2000, and with
this series of bowls the exploration is of the energy that the
pieces project from the way they sit. My goal here is a
dramatic distortion and tilted sit of the bowl, but I have worked very
hard to learn how to orient the burl wood in such a way that the final
distortion does not reduce the strength of the overall statement of 'bowl.' In
simple terms, I am after a high energy tilt, lots of energy from mostly vertical
wrinkling, but with a cohesiveness in the rim and overall shape. The very deliberate intent here is to suggest
"bowl", in constrast to
work such as Christian Buchard's fabulous "baskets" which are based on the gourd shape.
With this series of mine the surface of the bowl is finely sanded before the drying
process to provide visual clarity to the wood while not reducing the energy
the final wrinkled surface.
smaller bowl in the same series. Despite my best efforts, only a fraction
of the pieces in the series dry to a final form that I feel is truly successful.
But when they do, I feel it was all worth the trouble.
small footless bowl utilizing the voids and natural edge of a holly burl.
The piece was completed and sanded before drying in order to preserve the
slightly wrinkled surface.