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Artistic Bark-Edged Wooden Bowl Tutorial

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Course Overview

This tutorial is intended for students with some experience with bowl turning on an electric lathe, and who want to learn more advanced woodturning methods. We will explore turning asymmetrical forms from bark-edged bowls to unusual end-grain pieces and burls. The tutorial will include selection of wood, cutting of bowl blanks, and techniques of mounting and turning bark edged bowls. We also will discuss details of drying and finishing (sanding and oiling) a turned bowl. Each student will turn about four bark-edged bowls suitable for artistic display (or serving food) and learn many tricks of the trade. Limited to three students, the session will be tailored to each student’s prior experience and expectations. The main tutorial takes place in the instructor’s fully-equipped wood-turning shop on the shore of Lake Superior in Hovland, a 20-minute drive east of Grand Marais. The first evening, however, we will meet at the North House campus the previous evening for an orientation, demonstration, and turning practice.

During the orientation evening we will discuss the evolution of wood turning from human to motor powered, and traditional to contemporary, especially with regard to bowl function and design. We will discuss the selection of wood and cutting a bowl blank using photos and some real examples. Your instructor will demonstrate the process of mounting a bowl blank and turning it into a bark edged bowl on a North House lathe. Students can participate in turning this bowl as a warm-up for turning their own bowls. In this first session we will review the entire process so each student will be ready to go the next morning. This will include a full discussion of safety using a lathe!

On the first full day, each student will turn several bark edged bowls on their own state-of-the-art lathe. More challenging pieces such as burls will be turned on the second day. Your instructor will guide you as needed and show you the fine details of turning and stabilizing bark edged bowls. All materials including wood, turning tools, sharpening and safety equipment will be provided, but students are encouraged to bring their own turning tools, safety equipment (goggles, face shield), and any special pieces of wood including burls. With only three students, your instructor will provide highly personalized guidance and knowledge.

Currently Scheduled Sessions