“The vessel is rough turned to ½" thick, allowed to dry for many months and then finish turned to a thickness appropriate to the design. Finally it is sanded to a 1200 grit finish and Danish oiled. Deborah administers the final finish: the piece is steel wooled and bees’ waxed. In this way the tree is allowed to extend itself beyond its rooted existence, through our hands into yours.”
The creative process begins with Jerry’s search for unique wood. “I search out recycled trees and logs from sustainable harvesting operations. The bowl begins with the study of telltale signs in each log that may reveal hidden beauty.”
“I unwrap one of nature’s most enchanting gifts.
Each bowl is first rough-turned to ½" while the wood still carries some moisture then allowed to air dry for many months…
…and finally turned to a thinness appropriate to the design.
Danish oiled, steel wooled and bees’ waxed.”
“On the bottom of each bowl are Jerry’s signature, the type of wood and the date of the final turning.
In this way the tree is allowed to extend itself beyond its rooted existence, through our hands into yours.”
Jerry discovered his unique form of stitching while living in Hawai‘i, where the old Hawaiian calabashes, as bowls are called there, have often been repaired with wooden inserts, or kepa.
If the piece of wood has deep inclusions, a character trait Jerry tries to incorporate into his design, it is prone to fly apart when spinning at the several thousand rpm required. Jerry discovered that rather than using strapping tape to try to hold them together while turning, he could use a device from his cabinet shop called a biscuit joiner.
Warning: This is not a safe or approved way to use a biscuit joiner.
Hawaiian milo bowl with stitches in place.
California maple natural edge with stitch detail.
“Another wood saving technique is coning, whereby I use a special tool to allow me to safely remove the inside of a bowl in one piece. In this way I am able to get two to three bowls out of one bowl blank.”
Here is a sample of two coned bowls from a maple burl, using walnut stitches.