Wood Bowl Making

Most people start Woodturning by making wood bowls or pens.  Alan Adler believes that Woodturning is addictive.  There are people who love to turn and there are those that have no interest in it. In the World of Woodturning, there is no one in the middle who can take it or leave it. There is something special about peeling away layers of wood to create a form.

History about Wood Bowls Making

For centuries, the making of wood Bowls was primarily for utilitarian purposes.  Then in the early 1970s a ceramic graduate student, David Ellsworth, turned the direction towards an Art Form.  He invented a technique known as Hollow Forming and this creative process caught on fire.  Alan Adler has taken a workshop with David. David Ellsworth’s contribution to wooden Bowl Making and Woodturning is truly remarkable.

Just as David saw the possibilities to make something other than just utilitarian bowls, Alan Adler turning is constantly exploring methods to make wood bowls unique as well.  You will see in the Wood Bowl Portfolio how I embellish my bowls with various techniques.  These include colored pencils, pyrography, stains, milk paint, carving, embossing, gold leaf, airbrushing and anything else that allows adding texture and interest.  This bowl, Optical Illusion Bowl  employs carving and milk paint.  

Alan Adler Analysis of Wood Bowl Turning

Upon completing the turning of a bowl the finishing process will often exceed the time it took to make the shape.  If carving is involved the hours multiply.  I learned a long time ago from a furniture maker that however long it takes to build a piece of furniture you need to devote at least half as much time to get a proper finish.  My technique at the time was to slap on a layer of varnish.  No wonder the results were disappointing.