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Moroccan Style Bowl

Monday 9 July 2018

For this project I wanted to make a coloured bowl based on a traditional Moroccan theme, using contrasting colours. Moroccan bowls often have geometric shapes drawn onto the surface, followed by bright colours which are later added as an infill.

Here I have turned a small sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) bowl that has been coloured with blue spirit stain and enhanced with sections of gold banding, which are applied using spray paint and gold leaf.

As with all projects it can be adapted to suit your individual tastes.

You can also change the colours, patterns or add textures to give

the piece a different dimension and a touch of individuality.

Tools used: 10mm (3/8in) bowl gouge, 12mm (1/2in) skew chisel, 25mm (1in) round-nosed scraper, 25mm (1in) negative-rake scraper and 6mm (1/4in) point tool

Step 1

Mount a cross grain sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) bowl blank that measures 90mm (3 1/2in) high x 165mm (6 1/2in) on an M10 screw chuck and balance the outside using a 10mm (3/8n) bowl gouge

Step 2

Using the 10mm (3/8in) bowl gouge, clean up the front face and produce a spigot to suit the jaws of your chuck. You want the spigot to be approximately 6mm (1/4in) high as this will be the final height of the foot of the bowl. The bowl will be held by this finished foot/spigot so it is important to make sure that the profile and diameter matches that of your chuck jaws when almost closed. This will allow for maximum surface area contact between the jaws and the circumference of the spigot/foot, in turn reducing the chance of the jaws marking the spigot/foot. Refine the profile with a 12mm (1/2in) skew chisel presented in trailing mode

Step 3

Produce the outside profile of the bowl using a 10mm (3/8in) bowl gouge. Work from the spigot down and out to the rim

Step 4

Concave the base/foot slightly using the 10mm (3/8in) bowl gouge

Step 5

Using a 25mm (1in) square-end scraper, refine the outside profile to remove any tooling marks

Step 6

Finish down to 400 grit abrasive. Ensure to take time here as stain will be applied in the next process. Any scratch marks left will be highlighted when the stain is applied

Step 7

Apply blue spirit stain to the outside of the bowl using a soft brush. Allow to dry. If scratch marks are evident allow to dry and cut back with abrasive until removed, then you can re-apply the stain. Allow to dry

Step 8

Spray the spigot/foot and bottom one-third of the outside with acrylic sanding sealer and allow to dry

Step 9

Cut back with '0000' wire wool to de-nib the surface with the lathe speed set at around 500rpm. Repeat the spraying process and cut back for a second time

Step 10

Wrap the foot in several layers of masking tape and tighten into the jaws of the chuck. Do not over-tighten or you may induce some damage to the surface of the foot. Using a 10mm (3/8in) bowl gouge, clean up the front face

Step 11

Continue with the bowl gouge and produce the internal profile of the bowl to a wall thickness of approximately 4mmm (5/32in)

Step 12

Refine any tools marks using a 25mm (1in) round-nosed scraper

Step 13

Finish the inside down to 400 grit abrasive, as before

Step 14

Again, apply blue spirit stain to the inside of the bowl, allow to dry then apply acrylic sanding sealer

Step 15

Cut back using '0000' wire wool and apply a second coat. Allow to dry and cut back for a final time

step 16

Mark lines on the outside of the bowl using a pencil and rule; these will indicate the position of the incised lines

Step 17

Using a 6mm (1/4in) point tool, produce grooves on the pencil lines to a depth of 1mm

Step 18

Use a fine paint brush to paint black acrylic paint into the grooves; you can then allow to dry

Step 19

Using '0000' wire wool, gently cut back any paint from the adjacent surfaces leaving a sharp defining line around the grooves

Step 20

Mask around the bowl. Rotate the chuck/bowl by hand, force the tape down into the grooves and use masking tape to cover by pushing a thumbnail into the grooves. Incise into the grooves using a sharp craft knife to cut around the grooves, while rotating the chuck by hand

Step 21

Remove the masking tape to expose the surface of the two narrow bands. Spray several fine coats of gold quick drying enamel paint around the panels until a good coverage is achieved. Allow to fully dry

Step 22

Remove the masking tape from the central band and carefully paint Japan Gold Size over the surface. Do not paint down into the grooves and only cover the surface up to the edge of the grooves

Step 23

Allow the Size to get to the tack stage. This can be ascertained by touching the surface and pulling your finger away; if the surface causes your finger to snap away then it is ready for gold leaf. If the surface feels wet without any tack then wait and try again. Cut the transfer gold leaf into strips slightly wider than the panel. Lay the leaf onto the surface, and on doing so ruffle the transfer by pushing/moving the paper so that the leaf cracks

Step 24

Using a soft brush, clean away any excess leaf from the grooves and allow the Gold Size to dry

Step 25

Use '0000' wire wool to gently rub the surface of the gold leaf to distress the surface further; this will also allow some of the base colour to show through. Any leaf that has adhered to the sprayed bands can also be carefully rubbed away

Step 26

Using a handle of a fine paint brush that has been sharpened to a point, clean out any gold leaf from the bottom of the grooves by pressing the tip into the groove while rotating the bowl in the chuck by hand

Step 27

Spray several fine coats of acrylic satin lacquer over the base, allow to dry, turn over, and repeat to cover the inside of the bowl. The sycamore Moroccan style bowl is now complete