It was only a matter of time before I started to turn bowls and recently I have begun exploring and learning to turn bowls. This process has lead to an enormous leap in my understanding of how I turn, getting my head around how my chisels should be cutting, how they need to be sharpened to get the result I am after and even what chisels are best for what cut.
I've been having a great time out on the lathe producing some really useful and beautiful looking bowls.
My first bowl a piece of swamp kauri I had been given by a guy who bought my last lathe when he picked it up and it had been sitting in the garage for quite a few months. What I hadn't expected was just how amazing the grain would be. I do enjoy kauri but rate many of the other timbers that I work with much higher in terms of their finished appearance and overall durability. But it came out beautifully!
Interestingly this bowl was turned without using a bowl gouge! At the time I didn't have one so I (in an intense session of learning) used a couple a cup hollowing tool, small scraper and a spindle gouge that I had sharpened to be resemble a bowl gouge. Some sanding and wax to finish and its now home to mandarins on our kitchen bench.
This has flowed on to some other functional outlets for bowls and the purchase of some new chisels.
I have turned out several yarn bowls so far which has been another enjoyable learning experience given the shape of the inner walls of the bowl. This has been tricky to get the wall to meet the bottom of the bowl with a good finish but made a little easier with the correct chisels.
The yarn bowls have found homes with some very happy knitters so far and the learning continues as often the creative aesthetic of the hole and slot for the yarn can provide some functional issues as discovered through testing with edie and co in Cambridge.