Monday 9 July 2018
Mark Sanger shows you how to create three drop rim bowls, each using a different texturing and finishing method to make them stand out
Within this article I produced three bowls of the same form. The bowls have an internal drop rim, which again is slightly out of the norm, as usually we may think of placing a bead or rim on the exterior at the top.
Taking a simple form and producing three variations shows that there are many low cost options that may appeal to varying tastes.
The first bowl was left untouched ready for a finish to be applied.
With the second bowl, the outside grain was textured with a bronze brush, using a suede brush purchased from a shoe shop. Onto this textured surface a simple application of acrylic spray was added to contrast the colour of the ash (Fraxinus excelsior) while keeping the grain obvious.
The last bowl was made using a bland piece of close grained beech (Fagus sylvatica). Any close grained wood is fine to use, it all depends on what you have to hand. Onto this acrylic black spray was used for the initial base colour as well as the internal rim. The outside was textured using fine rolled breakfast oats, but normal oats are also fine to use. You may need to blend the oats to produce a fine texture. Other fine seeds can be used such as poppy, mustard seeds or any other medium such as sand or wood shavings.
I applied gold leaf to the bowl's interior to give a highly distressed finish. Leaving the drop rim black then finishes the piece and draws the eye into the bowl. If you do not have or do not want to use gold leaf, then gold enamel paint purchased from the local DIY store can be used, although the effect will not be as striking as the real thing.
Tools used: 10mm (3/8in) bowl gouge, 6mm (1/4in) spindle gouge, 12mm (1/2in) skew chisel, 6mm (1/4in) parting tool, 25mm (1in) round-nosed scraper and 25mm (1in) square-end scraper
Place the blank on a screw chuck and bring up the tailcentre – this will add security and mark the base – which is required later in the process. Using a 13mm (1/2in) bowl gouge, balance the blank and clean up the front face
Mark the diameter of the spigot to suit your chuck jaws on the front face and using a 6mm (1/4in) parting tool with the tip trailing, part in to depth. You can remove the tailcentre to do this, but make sure you replace it afterwards
Using a 13mm (1/2in) bowl gouge, produce the outside profile from base to rim
Using the toe of a 10mm (3/8in) skew chisel, alter the profile of the spigot if required, and flatten a small area on the base to register against the front of the chuck jaws
Reverse the blank into the chuck and use a 10mm (3/8in) bowl gouge to remove the inside waste. Don't take it to the finished wall thickness yet – leave it around 10mm (3/8in) thick in the top one-third of the form. Flow the bottom two-thirds of the bowl in a steep curve in towards the base. We want to alter the outside profile later and will not be able to do this if the wall thickness is taken equal all the way down to the base. Also leave around 15mm (9/16in) thickness in the base as we also want to undercut the base steeply and produce a small foot for it to sit on
Using a 25mm (1in) square-end scraper, refine the outside profile of the top half of the bowl. If we had taken the bowl to finished thickness to start with, 2mm (5/64in) at the top, then the scraping process would have been problematic due to chatter from the thin wall
Using the 10mm (3/8in) bowl gouge, take the bowl to 4mm (5/32in) wall thickness in the top one third. Continue to leave extra material down towards the base while flowing the curve
Use a pencil to mark one-third down the inside of the bowl. This is where we are going to produce the internal rim
Continue with the 10Mm (3/8in) bowl gouge and take the wall thickness 2mm down to the pencil mark. Fine cuts and a sharp tool are needed to prevent chatter/flexing, or you can gently support the outside profile of the bowl, but do not try this if you are not confident/safe
Using the toe of a 12mm, (1/2in) skew chisel, produce a fine groove in the internal shoulder/rim. Make sure you angle the tool tip down and cut towards the base following the profile of the inside. If you don't do this then you will cut through the side wall
Using a 25mm (1in) round-nosed scraper, refine the inside profile by taking very fine cuts. As before, support the outside of the bowl if required, but only if you are safe and confident in doing so
Power sand the inside of the form down to 320 grit then finish the thin rim area by hand. If you choose, at this stage you can apply your chosen sanding sealer and top coat
Reverse the bowl onto a domed waste block friction drive using the tailstock for support. Protect the inside surface with kitchen towel. Using the 10mm (3/8in) bowl gouge, alter the bottom two-thirds of the profile blending a continuous curve into the base and finish the base with a 6mm (1/4in) spindle gouge
As before, scrape the outside profile and power sand to 320 grit. Apply your chosen sanding sealer and top coat at this stage. Remove the waste material from the base using a sharp chisel or power carver, sand by hand to 320 grit, apply the sanding sealer and finish. The first bowl is now complete
Textured grain bowl
Produce the bowl as before and seal the inside with acrylic sanding sealer. Allow to dry and cut back with wire wool or 600 grit abrasive. If using wire wool, make sure you blow any debris away before sealing. Once dry, apply acrylic satin lacquer and cut back if required, finishing with one final light coat. Keep the spray within the bowl at this stage and do not coat the outside
Once dry, reverse onto a friction drive and protect the interior with kitchen towel. Finish the outside as before, but prior to removing the waste from the base remove some of the early growth/grain from the outside using a bronze brush. This can either be done with the lathe rotating at a slow speed by pressing the brush into the grain, or with the lathe stopped by hand
Remove the waste from the base and finish by hand down to 320 grit. Lay flat on a piece of scrap wood and seal the exterior with acrylic sanding sealer, cutting back by hand if required. Apply several fine coats of acrylic black spray paint, allowing to dry between each coat, then cover again to make sure you get into the texture of the grain. Finally finish with several coats of satin acrylic lacquer
The second option is now finished. The textured grain can clearly be seen under the acrylic spray and this adds a tactile interest/contrast to the bowl's interior
Textured gold leaf bowl
Take the third option to the stage where the inside of the bowl and base has been sanded and sealed with acrylic sanding sealer. On this occasion, you can allow the spray to overlap the rim by a small amount. This enables the bowl to be placed face down with the paint on the rim being fully dry. Cut back if required, then apply several coats of acrylic black spray. Allow to dry and cut back between each coat until you have good coverage
Once dry, reverse onto a friction drive and finish the base profile, then finish with abrasive down to 320 grit. Place onto a flat surface and seal the rest of the exposed area with acrylic sanding sealer and allow to dry. Spray with several thin coats of black acrylic spray allowing to dry between each coat. Once fully dry you can paint the outside of the bowl with quick drying PVA glue. Here I am using Uni-Bond 'No More Nails.' Standard PVA is fine but may take longer to set
Apply the fine rolled oats or other texture medium to the glue by gently pressing all over the surface
Allow the glue to dry and gently wipe away any loose grains. Repeat the gluing process and apply more oats until the whole of the outside is covered. Once dry, gently remove any loose grains and carefully paint with wood hardener. If you don't do this then the oats, once painted, can become fragile and may break away. This stage is not required if you are using sand etc.
Seal the outside with acrylic sanding sealer, allow to dry and cover with acrylic black spray from the top down. Once dry, turn over, coat the base and then apply a dusting of deep red acrylic spray. Apply sparingly onto different areas of the exterior until you achieve the effect you want. For example, you may decide to spray more red toward the top to grade the colours up the bowl, or like here, I have sprayed the colour in various places to give a smoke type effect. Once dry, seal with acrylic satin lacquer
Use a fine brush to carefully paint the bowl's interior up to the rim using a deep red colour paint prior to applying the gold leaf. Here I am using Liberon Fontenay base red, which is specifically made for gold leaf effects, but any deep red paint will do. Allow to dry
Apply Japan Gold Size and gold leaf, which is basically a thin varnish/glue that has a long set time thus enabling the gold leaf to be applied with control. However, you could use a thin coat of PVA or thinned varnish. If you do this, make sure you apply 'evenly' all over the bowl's interior using a fine brush. The Size needs to be tacky enough to take the gold leaf. Test the tackiness after a short time using the tip of your finger. Here I am using transfer gold leaf, which is gold leaf attached to a backing paper. It is easier to apply than loose leaf. Tear small strips of the transfer leaf and lay it onto the Gold Size with the transfer paper facing up. Gently rub over the surface with a finger, leave for a few minutes and peel off to leave the leaf in place. Repeat until covered and leave for around half an hour. Gently rub the leaf with your finger to smooth any rough areas. You will have to experiment to find the drying times for the Gold Size or glue you are using
If you want a distressed surface then you can apply more pressure to random areas – this will cause the leaf to move and crack. You can do as much or as little of this as you like to achieve the desired effect
Allow to fully dry and brush off the excess leaf around the rim and bowl with a soft brush, such as a soft make up/blusher brush. Apply several light coats of acrylic satin lacquer to the inside of the bowl, which covers the leaf and rim. Allow to dry and now the third bowl is complete