A good client came up with this title for these bowls, thier reasoning being that I have either ‘sculpted’ them in some way or I have exposed the sculptural work done by nature. These are definitely not plain, everyday bowls.
Making many bowls is a vital part of honing turning technique. Once a plain bowl can be made, and finished, to a high standard, then the creative juices can run free! Some of my favourite woods for these pieces are the Australian burr woods, like Coolibah, Jarrah and Mallee. These are some of the hardest and densest timbers on earth; turning these woods on the latheis hard work since they are so tough, but the finished effect repays all the effort. Sadly, they have become very expensive in the last twelve months and a number of merchants have stopped importing them.
Although I sometimes leave the bark on, most of the 'sculptural bowls' have had it removed to reveal the lunar-like beneath. Any sculpting that I do tends to involve to carving the bowl in some way and/or charring the surface with a small blowtorch to add contrast in colour and texture.
I always finish these pieces with Danish oil, which sinks into the wood, and 'feeds' it, instead of sitting on the surface like many wax finishes. Be warned, the Australian burrs in particular are very heavy for their size!