Went to an all-day turning workshop today given by John Beaver, who's a member of my turning club, the Glendale Woodturner's Guild. He showed us the tricks for making his signature 'wave' bowls like these:
John's a real nice guy, and his is an interesting story. He's only been turning seriously for about 2 1/2 years. He'd had an old hand-me-down lathe in the back corner of his shop for years, using it only a few times to make nose cones for RC airplanes. Then he got an idea for a bowl with a wave in it, and figured out some cool techniques and jigs for getting the results he was looking for. After he'd done a few to prove the concept was worth pursuing, he took some lessons to actually learn 'real' turning techniques. He said he was hesitant at first to show others his work, but once he posted a few pics on the web, people quickly started to notice. In fairly short order, he caught the attention of folks like Malcolm Tibbets, David Ellsworth and Betty Scarpino, and soon after that he was asked by Ray Leier to add some of his bowls to the 'Small Treasures' exhibit at the Del Mano Gallery. (To those who are unfamiliar with the Del Mano Gallery, it's probably the premier wood art gallery in the nation, if not the world.) He's also started getting invitations to participate in other national-level shows around the country. Definitely a fast-rising star who found a unique signature style pretty quickly out of the gates.
I'll be experimenting in the future with some of the techniques he showed today. Like I told him, the challenging part will be taking his ideas and expanding on them.