After breaking another dinner plate I started thinking about the permanent nature of crockery, even in its broken unusable state. The archaeologists and historians out there would consider this a great thing but what use is a broken cup and what on earth do we do with it? This got me thinking about sustainable and decomposable materials and making bowls out of wood.
I’ve been hanging out to try my hand at some wood turning for over a year now, my plan is to build a pole lathe but first I thought I should take advantage of the extremely well equipped local men’s shed and get some practice in on an electric wood lathe. I learnt wood turning at school and its amazing how manual memory gets ingrained.
My next hurdle was finding some green wood that would make nice bowls and it was only recently that I needed to lop a few big branches off an old Rough Barked Apple – Angophora Floribunda – here on the farm. So I kept some good sized rounds aside.
The rounds then need to cut along the grain down the middle so the bowl is turned against the grain. The desired bowl size is then marked on the halves and the excess wood cut away.
David at the men’s shed showed me the ropes and it didn’t take long to feel comfortable holding the gouge chisel and shaving off layers of wood. Its a very satisfying experience.
The bowl is rough turned and left with a wall thickness 10% of the diameter and left to dry. Once dry I will complete the final turning and sanding. At this point I get to see the grain and all its beautiful imperfections. I’ll post again when it comes time to complete it. I aim to turn 6 bowls with the wood I have. …… then onto the spoons!
here is a great article on green wood – http://www.johnjordanwoodturning.com/John_Jordan_Woodturning/Understanding_Wood.html