Most of my work is a style called segmented turning and it involves the fitting and gluing together of many individual pieces of wood into a rough shape of the final vessel or art piece.
Once the rough form is complete, it is mounted on the lathe, turned into its final design and finish is applied. This style of presentation is very labor intensive and I spend more time cutting and
gluing than I spend turning–but that’s okay.
When I was a kid with H.O. trains, I constructed all of the buildings on my train table using balsa stock rather than buying ready-made structures.
And then I spent 35 years building houses–and so it seemed natural that I would choose to build wooden vessels rather than just turning a bowl from a single chunk of wood.
A further advantage that appeals to my desire to create “functional art” is that by working with the segmented turning process, I am able to combine the multitude of natural wood colors and grains into patterns and shapes that are highly reminiscent of the pottery of the American southwest, Africa, or of the Orient.
MADERA bowls are constructed of various exotic and domestic woods selected to show off their remarkable colors and grains. After designing the approximate shape, size and pattern of bowl desired, strips of each wood chosen are cut into segments and the segments are glued together into rings.
The rings are then sanded and glued into a stack of rings on a base piece to form the rough bowl. The rough bowl is placed on the wood lathe and turned by the use of cutting tools such as gouges and scrapers to the desired shape. After shaping, the bowl is sanded.
The MADERA logo is burned onto the bottom of the bowl and five coats of finish are then applied by hand. The bowl is lightly sanded between coats of finish. When the final coat of finish has cured, the bowl is polished and waxed with carnuba wax.