I’m Chris, and I turn bowls.

I have been turning bowls, vases, and hollow forms since 2009.

After spending a Saturday in a Woodcrafters class, I bought his first lathe and started turning bowls on the weekend. I recently received a larger lathe as a gift and can now work with wood as large as 15″ in diameter.

I enjoy using my skills and time to create beautiful pieces that I often give as gifts to friends and family. Some of the most special and unique pieces I have made have been in memory of loved ones.

Here’s how I do it.

When I make a bowl, I can start with either a kiln-dried form, a wax-sealed blank, or large tree branch or piece of a trunk.

A kiln-dried base is a great way to make a beautiful bowl in an afternoon. In this case, the wood has already been cut down to a roughly bowl-sized square so my job is to find out what kind of bowl it will be. This preparation is the best way to work with exotic woods that are more likely to be damaged in overseas transport. 

A wax-sealed blank is the perfect preparation for a more intensive project. The wood has been cut down to a standard cube size, but it hasn’t been dried. I enjoy working with blanks because it gives me the opportunity to work with the natural wood, although it does take significantly longer. Once I’ve turned the blank down to the rough form I want, it needs to be stored and dried for six months to allow it to lose moisture and prepare for the finishing work.

One of the most special ways to work with wood is to start with a large tree branch or trunk. I’ve had the pleasure of working on a pair of vases made from a tree from a friend’s yard. While the wood doesn’t need to be immaculate, it does need to be broken down and sealed before starting. Depending on how long the tree has been felled, it may take up to six months to complete, but it’s worth the trouble for such a special piece!

Some of my favorite pieces