This month, I had the privilege of conducting a demonstration for our local woodturning group, the South Suburban Chiselers and Illiana Wood Turners in South Holland, IL—a community I’ve been part of for over 5 years. Being both a participant and presenter at the monthly meetings is always a joy. The opportunity to showcase my skills arose after I donated a beautiful white oak bowl, complete with a butterfly or bowtie patch, for the annual raffle last November. The interest from fellow members in creating such patches led to this month’s demo.
While many woodturners prefer working with solid, uncracked wood, I’ve learned to value every bit of material, especially when dealing with heritage bowls crafted from significant, fallen trees. A case in point: two autumns ago, during a family camping trip on our Southern Illinois property owned since 1986, I discovered a large branch had fallen from the iconic tire swing tree that generations of grandchildren had played on. It turned out to be Walnut. With my chainsaw in hand, I salvaged the wood, preventing it from becoming firewood near the campfire. Now, those salvaged pieces have transformed into 16 heritage bowls, each with its unique story.
See the YouTube Video
I got lots of help on learning how to add a wood patch from Big Island Engraving. A company in Hawaii that repairs wood bowls and sells almost everything you need, along with helpful videos. If you are interested in repairing a bowl I recommend you visit their website.