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A tree is a beautiful gift from nature, and my goal as a wood turner is to preserve this natural beauty long after the tree dies. I try to make bowls that best show off the grain, bark, and figuring of the wood, including the stains from fungi, tracks from insects, and north woods lichens. All of my bowls are hand crafted on a power lathe. This means the cutting tools (gouges, scrapers, and chisels) are held by hand and steadied on a tool rest while carving a rapidly turning piece of wood. I prefer making natural and bark edged bowls from old spalted pieces of wood and from burls. The shape of a bowl is mostly determined by the piece of wood (its grain, bark, size, and feel). I take time to try and understand the wood as I carve its shape. My bowls show the natural beauty of the wood and are never embellished or given a shiny plastic-like finish. My bowls are sanded to at least 600 grit, sealed with at least two coats of tung oil (dried and hand sanded between coats), and buffed after application of a thin coat of beeswax/walnut oil, giving a satiny luster and smooth feel. Sanding and oiling are important in bringing out the natural beauty of the wood. You would not see the flaming figuring in a burl or the amazing curly grain (chatoyance) if the wood was left unfinished. All of my wood is from the Lake Superior area (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan) and healthy trees are never cut solely for making bowls. Burls are obtained only from local private land, never from unknown or questionable sources. Below is an example of the type of bowl I love to turn.

click on an image to enlarge it

bark edged aspen burl bowl from Minnesota
Jagged edged aspen burl bowl turned by Lou Pignolet
amazing twisted aspen burl from the north shore of Lake Superior

Aspen Burl Bowl (side and top views) turned from an unusual twisted aspen burl shown to the left. Imagine the process of turning this unusual burl into a bowl and you will become hooked on wood turning just as I did.

My bowls are on display and for sale at the New Scenic Cafe near Duluth, at the Hovland Arts Festival 4th of July event in Hovland, MN, from me at my Hovland shop, and on this web site. Please contact me if you have an interest in learning wood turning, having bowls made from your wood, purchasing a bowl, or just to chat.

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