Turned wooden stave bowls are Ted’s specialty. Think of a barrel, which is basically a cylinder formed from vertical pieces of wood called staves. Now think of various combinations of woods that could be used in a bowl, the number of staves, the choice of height and width of the finished bowl, and whether to add a lid or leave the vessel open – the possibilities are endless.
There’s something about taking perfectly good pieces of wood, cutting them into strips, carefully cutting those strips into angled pieces that will fit together to make up a perfect 360 degree circle (thus becoming staves), then re-assembling the staves — often with contrasting pieces of thin veneer — into a turning block that appeals to Ted’s technical side.
It pays to have paid attention in geometry class, as the art of angling the cuts to form that perfect circle is based on the number of staves to be used in the bowl. If every cut is precise and accurate, the pieces will fit tightly together to form a solid blank from which the bowl will be turned.
Some of Ted’s stave bowls below are on display at, and available through, Ptarmigan Arts gallery in Homer, Alaska. Some are available through the Store section of this website.
If you see a bowl that you like, only to find that it is marked “Sold” on the website, feel free to contact Ted about a custom order. Ted would be glad to work with you to create a special bowl using your choice of woods and finishes. The pair of matching open vessels in the photo below, turned from walnut and figured maple with a Danish oil finish, was made as a special order for a customer in England.
Some of the stave bowls that Ted has turned are purely decorative in nature. The bowl below, turned from maple and walnut, has a figured maple lid and a cocobolo finial. A turning of this style is known, in woodturners’ parlance, as a lidded box.
Other lidded bowls were designed for a specific purpose. The custom order pet urn pictured below was made from 87 individual pieces of wood and dyed veneer, topped with a pink sapphire. The glass-like surface is the result of at least 20, maybe 30, coats of a durable polyurethane finish, wet-sanded between coats.
The larger the number of staves in a bowl, the greater the time involved in cutting and assembling the staves. In the photo below, 32 staves of black cherry and maple make up this 7″ x 7-3/4″ lidded bowl.
Ted put his new sphere jig to good use when he created a bowl named (with help from Facebook friends) “The Orb.” The body of the bowl is quilted maple and dyed veneer. The lid is turned from figured hard maple and has a knob of Macassar ebony embellished with a Swarovski crystal.
Obviously weeks or months of work go into each bowl, starting with the designing phase and progressing through the lengthy finishing stage. Each is a work of art that reflects Ted’s creativity and woodturning expertise. Watch our site and our Facebook page for postings about new bowls.