Harvesting maple logs

Making wooden bowls.

As an architect, I have a curiosity and fascination with design and how materials are shaped and put together. This is how I initially became interested in building furniture and eventually to turning wooden bowls. With scraps of wood lying around my shop from various cabinet, chair and table projects, I decided to glue them up into larger blocks so I could turn them into bowls. My goal of turning waste wood into small gifts for family and friends has now turned into a passionate hobby in which I find myself hauling large chunks of fallen wood found throughout the Twin Cities and the forests of northern Minnesota back to my shop where I rough-cut logs on a 12” band saw and then turn bowls on a 700 pound wood lathe.

Two of the greatest pleasures I have with this craft are exploring the typology of the wooden bowl as an object and revealing wood as a beautiful material. I gain tremendous satisfaction from considering the innate possibilities for the shape and proportion of the bowl and from finding the characteristics that give a bowl its personality. It is difficult to see what the final wood grain will look like from a rough piece of lumber, but there is enough information revealed in the grain, texture and color of the unfinished wood to speculate on the final outcome. The process of revealing the grain as I turn and sand the wood from the rough to the final state is truly an act of discovery.