Chef Bear Bowls

Solid in Function Beautiful in Form

I am Chef Bear and I make wooden bowls.  Beautiful bowls, salad bowls, fruit bowls, everything bowls, your favorite bowl that you reach for everyday. Greener than Green, Righter than Rain, from West Virginia Hardwoods -- I made your Bowl.

Banopolis -- Cause HiHo Cherry Oh will only get you so far...

So, we used to play a lot of HiHo Cherry Oh.  It was fun.  It teaches counting and sportsmanship and all that.  We would play best of 3 and the final game you could play for a quarter, you know to teach "risk evaluation."  We talked about how to tap in to your "good lucky feeling."  We got as much outta that game as we possibly could.  But then what was next?  Monopoly was a cluttered bust of many pieces scatered by pets and short attention spans and  the kids weren't too excited about it either.

We were at the local bookandgame and I saw a bunch of dice and remembered an old favorite from way back.  I got 5 dice and went home and spun a dice cup and a small plate.  I drew out some score cards and Stella and I played several very enjoyable games of Yahtzee!  

The next day Stella was like, "Dad, can we play that game again?"  "What game?" I faked.  "You know that one game, Banopolis!"  (bah - nah - poe- liss ) You bet, I said and we've been playing ever since.  Stella was in Kindergarten then and now she's doing Algebra, Leah is now in 1st grade and it's still fun for all of us.  I think it does a great job of teaching basic Addition and introduces Multiplication with good visual aides, Poker Theory (your building Poker Hands), Game Theory, Strategy, Odds and Probability you can over think it as much as you want, or you can just have fun and watch the kids go nut's when they hit a Banopolis!

Leah going for 3s

Leah going for 3s

 

So we got a new chest freezer and we had to make some room for it down in the basement and that meant that some old shelves had to go.  They were 11" wide 4/4 tight grained cedar.  I knew I didn't wanna just trash em so I put them in the corner of the shop till the right project arrived.  

 

I wanted to add something to the usual market line up and I think some Banopolis sets would work nicely.  The reclaimed Cedar and the Cherry Dice Cups I think work well.

 

 

Here's the prototype for this first batch.

Here's the prototype for this first batch.

Finished with Walnut Oil and Bees Wax  

Finished with Walnut Oil and Bees Wax

 

Yes they are available for the holidays and priced to move at $30 and up.  I'm not gonna stock them all the time when I run out of shelves I'm out of Banopolis.  Look for them at Bridgeport Farmer's Market, Artistry on Main in Buckhannon, or send me an email, or a note at the ChefBear FaceBook Page.

 

 

Math is your friend!

Math is your friend!

Phase One

So I  got a bunch of Hard Maple -- some curly, some funky, and one of the logs was big straight, and clear. I also got an email from a good friend commissioning a piece.  No guidelines, just guidance,  and a frame of reference.  Yay!  License to Turn! 

So here is that piece of WV Hard Maple.  Keep in mind that this was in the firewood pile...

So here is that piece of WV Hard Maple.  Keep in mind that this was in the firewood pile...

So I chainsaw it up into 3 seperate 18 or so inch chunks  I split it on the pith, and then take it to the bandsaw to make "mostly rounds" cause that's what they are and trust me at this stage that's plenty good.

 

 "Mostly Rounds" patiently waiting their turn.  

 "Mostly Rounds" patiently waiting their turn.

 

So I mount it on the lathe in a chuck and start working on a nice Calabash form.  

 

This is the roughed shape I want, it gets refined more later.

This is the roughed shape I want, it gets refined more later.

Even though we are surrounded by these amazingly bountiful resources I core out all of my bowls.  It just makes sense, and I rather pick up a bowl blank than a bunch of wood chips.

I know this is skimming over a bunch.  We got a lot of stuff to cover...  

I know this is skimming over a bunch.  We got a lot of stuff to cover...

 

Now!  Now, we can get to the fun stuff.  I refine the form on the outside, and start taking away material inside and getting wall thickness down and uniforn.  When I'm at about 1/2" I go sharpen tools and take a couple of final passes.  I am in the zone and using all senses, the sound, feel, sight, the smell fresh Maple, and Grunge is playing, life is good and this is why I turn.  

Everything feels right...

Everything feels right...

THE MOST DANGEROUSESS STEP!  I turn out the lights and have to walk back to the lathe with the lights out in my well used shop.  I didn't trip, I'm OK.  Turning out the lights alows me to use a small work light to check wall thickness.  Green wood is translucent and glows when cut thin with even wall thickness, and it looks pretty F'n cool.

 

This is fun.  Trust me.

This is fun.  Trust me.

Nice and even.  Great way to finish off the day.

Nice and even.  Great way to finish off the day.

I took another picture where I was hiding one of my fingers, but that seemed insensitive to some of my woodworker friends, so I used this one.  

I took another picture where I was hiding one of my fingers, but that seemed insensitive to some of my woodworker friends, so I used this one.  

Bazinga!  That's Phase One Baby!

Bazinga!  That's Phase One Baby!

All photos taken by me ChefBear, on my iPhone, as life happens.