After reading Richard Raffan’s book The Art of Turned Bowls I realized that good bowl design is no accident. I have heard many turners say” I just put a block of wood on the lathe and see what the wood has to say”. Many times this seems a bit contrived or assumes the wood (an inanimate object) has something to say. This coupled with some ungainly results have brought me to be more intentional in my turning and in particular in planning my turnings out before hand. Raffan states that until you have turned a particular shape a couple hundred times it wont flow or come natural.
I wanted to incorporate some of what I have learned into the new bowls I’m turning. One thing Raffan encourages is using templates. That allows the form to be repeated over and over. That requires drawing it first.
This bowl is made from Redwood Burl. This piece is very soft but turns well. You see the wide outer lip forming with a nice bead at the transition point.
Here is the full drawing up against the almost finished bottom.
The outer shape is complete. now for the inner shape.
A view from the top.
And from the side. All that is left is to finish off the foot and all is done.
Now that this bowl is complete I have drawn shapes for all my rough turned bowls. I just need to find time to turn them all.