I spent part of Labor Day weekend experimenting with a different form and an unusual texture. It started pretty innocently. I got a new chainsaw last week, and eager to try it out, started cutting some logs up as soon as I got home with it. One of the logs was a smallish oak log. It was about two foot long and about 8″ wide with some really nice spalting. By the time I removed the pith, and looked at the two resulting flitches, I was having a hard time imagining how to get some reasonable bowl blanks from them. I didn’t want to throw them away as the wood was really pretty. The idea struck me to make some rectangular bowls and retain the natural waney edge of the flitches.
I turned the bottoms of the pieces first, and when I rotated the pieces on the lathe to hollow out the bowls, I decided to retain the rough chainsaw marks. I really like the resulting contrast between the chain saw marks and the smooth interior of the bowls.
With the wings of the rectangular piece rotating on the lathe, coupled with the fact that I was turning more air than wood, these pieces were both technically challenging and somewhat intimidating. Focus and awareness were very important to ensure I didn’t get my fingers whacked! But it was worth the effort and I’m very pleased with the end result.
The pictures here are work in progress shots as I am applying the finish to the two pieces. I still have a couple more coats of oil to apply and once that is cured the smooth sections of the pieces will be buffed, hopefully further enhancing the contrast with the chainsaw texture.
Click on any of the thumbnails to see an enlarged image