How to make a handmade bowl by a woodturner

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“There’s a misconception that you have to be really strong and muscular,” he says. ashley harwood, a woodturner who creates stunning handcrafted wooden bowls in her shop in South Carolina. “Woodturning is all about delicacy, and in fact, the feel of the cut is more important than strength.”

Simply put, wood turning is the process of turning wood into circles, a tradition that has been around since ancient times. Harwood uses locally salvaged wood to make the bowls, a process that can take him up to a year. After selecting the log, the first step on the rotating machine, the lathe, is to “rough-turn,” or take the slab and hollow it out into the shape of a bowl. After Harwood carves the desired shape, he coats the bowl with wax to minimize cracking as the wood dries. She points out that the wood in the bowl can take anywhere from several months to a year to completely dry. After the bowl is fully rotated and sanded, a simple food-safe finish is applied to bring out the natural color of the wood.

Harwood learned the trade from a third-generation woodturner named Stuart Batty during his apprenticeship in England. “I could not have made a living as a woodturner without learning a good set of techniques. I look for people to learn from, people I respect and admire in the field, people I think are doing good work. I think it makes sense to try to learn from them as much as possible.”



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