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peter asselyn/woodturner
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studio and process

Thank you for considering the purchase of one of my salad bowls.
These bowls will develop a wonderful patina with use and will
bring joy for many years. Hand-crafted in my home in
Durham Maine using local wood. I never cut a tree just for bowls
but try to salvage wood that would go to the landfill. Sometime
friends give me wood that needs to be removed. To make a 20 inch
salad bowl, a tree about two feet in diameter is needed,and
often my wife helps me lift these large pieces onto the lathe.
After I get the wood home I select and cut a log a little longer
than the diameter and cut this down the center and if I don't hit
any nails or knots I have a bowl blank on each side of the heart
of the log. The bowl is oriented with the rim near the center
of the tree. The two pieces are brought into the shop and one at
a time placed on the lathe and the outside is rough rounded to
bowl form. The form is then reversed and the inside of the bowl
is formed. At this time the wall thickness is about one inch to
allow for warping when it is dry. From here the rough bowl
blanks go into a steam bath for about 6 hours to kill any
bacteria and steaming makes the wood easier to work. Then they
are allowed to pre dry about a week before going into a home
made kiln to dry for about a month to bring the moisture of the
wood down to about 8 %. During this drying process about 15% of
bowls are lost due to cracking. But this drying assures that once
finished the wood will not crack again. Once the bowls are dry
they are warped and need to be brought back to round.
They are put back on the lathe and returned to final thickness
inside and out and finished with a special food safe oil.
I have been turning wood for over 6 years and am presently
vice president of the Maine Woodturners.Please see my artist
statemente for more about my feelings for wood.
Peter Asselyn                   http://peterasselyn.tripod.com   
     

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The best lathe in the world.