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.

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.