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Turning Wood

The process of turning lumps of wood into something nice is not for the impatient. The initial stages involve cutting tree-logs into manageable pieces. As a tree surgeon I have a regular supply from which I can take my pick. Selected wood must have no visible faults (such as cracks) and promising grain features. The log or plank is then stored under cover until reasonably dry. However, some woods take years to dry.

To speed up this process, woodturners often 'rough-turn' their fresh 'bowl blanks', and I do this too. The piece of wood is turned roughly into its desired shape and then left to dry and 'warp'. 'Warping' or 'working' distorts the wood and happens because moisture levels and tension within the newly-cut and drying wood are constantly changing. Woodturners exploit this by turning fresh or 'green' wood directly into their final shape, after which they let time take over. My bowls, however, are finalized only after the warping period has passed, which leaves them without the artistic wobble.

beech bowls