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Blog

Spring Bowl Turning in the Never Ending Winter Wonderland

jarrod

   Spring.....well I guess it could be called that. This morning we woke up to another 12 inches of fresh snow. At this point I'm not convinced winter will end. This is the time of the year when you get to witness the most hardened north woods loggers tear up when they reflect on the weather. I've seen it. It's disturbing, but we are all feeling it up here in the North. Maybe a winter support group is in order. It's taking it's toll on folks morale, but it's not all bad. Record lake levels on the largest fresh water lake in the world, Lake Superior. It's still covered in ice, nearly 60 percent. That's means less evaporation, which has been an issue in the past few years. Anyway....
   I found a great source for larger diameter birch logs over at a local saw mill. I was visiting my friend Jacob over at his sugar bush. He's got over 800 trees tapped and was boiling when I arrived. One of Jacob's partners in the sugaring operation was there. We got to talking and turns out his father owns an operates a saw mill in the area, and they would sell some logs to me. It's really great that they want to be bothered by the little guy like me. I'm looking for a few logs a month and they deal with 100's of cords a month. It's some really nice wood coming in from northern Minnesota. The next day I went over and looked at the pile of logs and started by picking out one log. It was loaded into my truck and away I went.
   I started preparing some blanks and turning it on Monday, easing into it as I have not turned much in the past few weeks. I've only been turning a few bowls a day. My maximum output is around 10, after that it hurts and there's no need for that. The cool thing is that the wood is big enough to turn some nesting bowls and larger ale bowls that have been in demand. Not many folks can turn a nesting set of bowls on a pole lathe. I bet just a handful in the entire world. I learned from the best and I wrote about it here a few years ago. The trick is having the right tools and being able to turn by feel alone, as you can't see or touch the bowl as the slot for the tool is minimum.
   My thoughts have also been on some pretty heavy things relating to craft, language, and culture. I'm still working out how to write about it. As the snow melts (theoretically)I find it harder to sit and write when the temperatures outside are in the 30f/1c range. That's warm.
   I've also been playing around with Twitter and Instagram if you are using either search me out.

these will make some great bowls
just a little more work with the chainsaw and they are ready to turn
cutting a nest saves time and wood
this is my favorite shape right now for an ale bowl once painted, mmmm