Saturday, January 30, 2010

Latest From the Woodshop – Alaskan Birch Bowls

I probably won’t be around much this weekend.

I’ll be here.

I’m looking forward to the symposium, it’ll be nice to spend the weekend with fellow turners.


I’m bringing a couple of my bowls along. I thought you might like to see them.


This first piece is Alaskan white birch.  It’s from a large tree that was felled near my house here in the MatSu, by a road crew clearing the right of way for a new road.  The tree grew in the open on high ground, a place with plenty of sun, and as such there was almost none of the figure and dark heartwood grain common in the wood I usually work with. The blank was almost pure white.  Which is fine, if you like that kind of thing.

Me? I thought it was boring.

So I thought I experiment with a little color.

This piece was created using water-based aniline dye, it took several months to do. I’m fairly happy with how it came out. I like the combination of colors – strangely it looks almost exactly as I envisioned it when I started out, that almost never happens to me. It’s about 12” in diameter.





This second piece is one of my signature designs.  The carved red salmon are my personal trademark. They accent a lot of my high end work. This is a piece of spalted Alaskan birch burl. The fish are each hand carved from more burl. The idea here is based on the annual salmon spawning migration. This is a fairly large piece, about 14” at the rim.

074 075

076 069


You may see some updates this weekend.

But I wouldn’t count on it.


  1. wow again. What talent!

  2. Absolutely gorgeous! Have a great weekend- we'll just be hanging out annoying ShopKat.

    fraff- the technical term for the cat hair that gets on your jacket when it's dropped to the floor.

  3. I certainly hope you're entering them in a juried contest, those are a couple of real prize winners. Especially the Salmon Run bowl.

  4. fumicat - what one has to do after your cat is introduced to the business end of a skunk!

  5. That first one is beyond amazing.

    untic = the opposite of antic

  6. Wow! Is that the flock of salmon you were working on when we stopped by back when? You've been busy. And the dyed piece certainly didn't look like that - if it's the same one I remember - very nice!

    Have fun at the symposium - I went a couple of years ago to see Søren Berger do his thing - was pretty cool.

  7. Transtint applied with an airbrush or hand brushed on? Gotta be you found some ARM-R-Seal finally too.

    Nice stuff.

  8. Transtint applied with a sponge.

    No, still can't get ARM-R-seal or WaterLox here in Alaska, that's about 15 coats of wipe on poly.

    Karl - yes, those are the piece you saw in progress when you stopped by.

  9. Oh, Jim, that's beautiful work.

    Have I mentioned how much pleasure the birdhouses are supplying?

    consio: The concierge in an italian hotel.


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