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Thread: A Little Siberian Elm Fruit Bowl

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM

    A Little Siberian Elm Fruit Bowl

    This is a bowl I finished recently and finally got pics taken of. When I was making the finish cuts on the inside, I nearly went through the bottom of, and had made it so thin I couldn't cut the tenon off. Barry Stratton urged me to get 'er done and put a foot on it, so I did. It needed to be pretty substantial, since the bowl is about 18" across, and I wanted something to go with the ogee form of the bowl (a departure for me anyway). I also decided to go with a pedestal instead of a foot, since contrasting feet on bowls often look like an afterthought to me. Even though I was covering up a mistake, I wanted it to look intentional.

    The bowl is a piece of crotch wood with all sorts of figure going on, so I figured it would be worth trying to salvage. The pedestal is some plain, almost punky alder that was turned, filled with Durham's Water Putty, re-turned, painted with about 4 or 5 different "faux metallic patina" finishes -- all of which looked cool but just not with the color of the elm -- and finally a dozen or so coats of black spray enamel, then another 5 or 6 coats of clear gloss lacquer, wet sanded and buffed out like a car. The bowl has a couple coats of polymerized tung oil, then a few coats of spray satin lacquer, buffed with PL compound. Very smooth to the touch but it contrasts with the shine of the pedestal.

    Dainty it ain't, and not really a style I'd tend to have in my home, but I'm hoping somewhere there's a lady out there that will simple HAVE to have this.

    (Click the pics to embiggen them.)

    And a quick shot on the dining room table to give a sense of its size...

    Comments, critiques, suggestions, and questions are all welcome.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    That's beautiful Vaughn.!!

    Intentional or not, you made that bowl so it would fit in with almost any style or decor. It could be early American or contemporary. Our home is all Shaker and colonial. It would look great on our dining room table. Nice job
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Buse Township MN
    Oh yeah, nice save That'll look great on someone's table!

    I'm guessing that alder pedestal is a lot lighter than it looks?
    Every child deserves a family. Adopt. Foster. Get involved.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Thanks, guys.

    Barry, you're right...the alder pedestal is pretty lightweight. That's part of why I kept it pretty thick and wide at the base. Well that, and I also wanted a pretty beefy look to it.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
    Beautiful Siberian Elm bowl Vaughn!
    Well done.
    Don't care for the black pedestal.
    It takes your eye away from the bowl as soon as you look at the piece.
    Maybe too much of a contrast?

    Innovation is the process that renews something that already exists and not, as is commonly assumed, the introduction of something new.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Goodland, Kansas
    Vaughn that will be a nice piece on someone's table. Good save and I do like the pedestal. Well done.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Well it may not be something you would put in your home but i would put it in my home anyday.

    If this is your new departure, stay on course. Its very appealing in my mind.

    I really like the edge of the bowl. I note not many of you tuners like a sharp edge but i think its great. The wood grain on this piece is certainly delightful.

    The pedestal is a great idea, i am not sure i like it glossy though. It has a certain cheap manufactured asian look to it. But having said that it is such a nice contrast with the top and does a real great job of lifting the bowl up for presentation. I think you hit the mix dead on. Dont let my comment detract from it.

    The design is good in my view because it allows for a large bowl to not occupy the whole table surface essentially reducing its footprint. Even though things wont get stored under it. Makes for more room on the table so that it in itself can be left on the table when the table is used for something like say a light meal.

    In my humble opinion if this dont sell then i give up.

    If it sells reasonably quickly then make more like it with a pedestal.

    Ever thought of making a tiered cake stand bowl series in a nice wood with something like your coring tool all of the same piece of wood with pedestals in between. By cake stand i mean something like this with thin pedestals perhaps turned or perhaps some other color metal or wood.

    I am not thinking thin as this glass one but elegant like your bowl you show. Would not be a cheap piece but i dont think yu ever let the selling price of your work factor in to what you do anyhow do you.

    P.S> After thought. Vaughn can you do anything to the picture. I know this is the pot calling the kettle black so i feel very guilty but this piece if worthy of a picture without the shadows if you can achieve it with your setup. I would not even try a picture as good as yours but then i dont put mine up on a website.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails cake stand.jpg  

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Abq, NM
    I like the wood, I like the bowl and I like the pedastel! Very nice
    As you are aware I have my blinders around the pottery forms, but that subtle ogee form is quite nice. I think using a black base form will help you sell it.
    I don't know if all women are like this, but lil missie spent about 7 or 8 yrs getting her dining room, hutch and china/crystal display "just right". Nothing, that does not belong there, stays for long.
    It's a beautiful piece, for sure, and I guess all Im saying is that someone will more eagerly buy a piece that fits the current decor, than redisgn the decor to fit a piece. That piece could go formal, or informal. Nice work!

    ps - embiggen?
    Last edited by michael james; 12-01-2010 at 05:16 PM. Reason: ps

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Thanks for the comments, guys. They are appreciated.

    It's been suggested by several turners (whom I really respect) that it would look better with a shorter pedestal. After doing a bit of rough Photoshop work, I think they're right, so I'll probably re-work the pedestal a bit. Stay tuned.

    Rob, the shadows you're seeing in the pics are because I had to shoot this one outdoors (on an overcast day). It's too big for my photo tent, and too big for my backdrop. (I had to Photoshop parts of the backdrop in most of the pics.) Here's the high-tech setup I used...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'll see what I can come up with if I re-work and re-shoot this one. One of these days I'll get myself a bigger backdrop. I already have a larger photo tent...just no appropriately-sized backdrop to go with it.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    bethel springs TN, but was born and raised in north east PA
    Well Vaughn i tryed to comment on this piece this mourning but the system went haywire on me when i tryed to post. I was going to say that if it was me i would shorten the base, but i guess you heard from some others that thought the same. Really great work as always, and i hope this goes through this time.

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