Let’s turn it up to 11!

Posted by scott alexander on

You may have noticed that my bowls aren’t perfectly round, they have a more organic shape. There’s a good reason for that. Most commercially made wooden bowls are made in a process referred to as a twice-turned bowl. You start with freshly cut wood, turn a rough/thick bowl shape, coat it in a substance to slow the drying down some to avoid cracking, then after a few months once all the moisture has left the wood… that bowl is turned again to make it round (as wood moves as it dries the original bowl is a bit oval shaped). Once the second turning is done the bowl will remain round as it's completely dried and will not continue moving. It’s a fine way to make a bowl and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.
My process is a bit different. I take fresh logs and immediately cut and turn them down to the shape and thickness I desire for the end piece. I keep in mind the movement that will happen as the piece dries, what species it is, its moisture content, the time of year, and the shape it will likely become as it dries. I like to refer to it as interactive art with a tree. Before a tree dries, it still has life to it, it is still able to perform in certain ways and I do my best to make something that only that piece of wood will be able to complete for me, and with me. Instead of turning bowls twice, I sand them twice. The first sanding takes place the day after they are turned, just after the surface has dried a bit. They are then tucked away to dry for 1-4 weeks depending on species, then they receive a final sand/polishing. They are then finished with a food-safe oil and wax blend and ready for use in your home.
If you have a wood bowl in your home already, you have likely noticed that they warm up any space they are in. Is that because wood tends to make spaces a bit more cozy from its rich warm tones? Is that because trees are distant cousins of ours (trees share 50% of our DNA) and there’s an unspoken familiarity about it? Is it because wood bowls are neutral to the touch, neither feeling cold nor hot… like little Goldilocks would say… this one is just right ;)
My bowls take that warmth and beauty and turn it up to 11 (thank you Spinal Tap ;). The natural, organic shape softens any space they are in. They become timeless pieces of functional art that are ready to serve you and your family in style for generations to come.
Do you have a space in your home needs turned up to 11? Give me a call
Scott Alexander

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