Turning using lathes goes way back for hundreds of years. Locally here in Scotland we need look no further than Loch Tay to the Crannog Centre to see clear evidence of Iron Age man turning bowls using a pole lathe.

Bowls turned on a pole lathe are crying out to be used for eating and drinking out of, rather than being used as ornaments. The bowls you see on this page are turned using local trees close to our homes.

Once a bowl comes off the pole lathe the fine tool marks are still visable. It is left to dry and then sealed, dipped in bees wax and oil heated in a pan. Excess oil and bees wax is wiped off, the bowl is washed in soapy water and once dry is ready to use.

No matter what wood is being used ideally it must be allowed to mellow or dry out slightly.This will reduce the ocurrance of distortion and potential cracking of the turned bowl. However some can be turned green with little or no distortion, eg ash, birch and beech. The video clip shows a cherry bowl being turned. To view more bowls click on this Bowl Gallery link.


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