The Art of Making Wooden Bowls

Wood vases for silk or dried flowers, wood vases with water tubes for fresh flowers or purly decorative wood vases to add interest to any home decor. And decorative handmade wooden bowls for a variety of purposes.

By combining different types of wood, you can acheive natural color contrast and beautiful, unusual patterns. The standard types of wood include Oak, Walnut, Maple, Hickory, Ash & Cherry. Each has its unique color characteristics. Very precise cutting & gluing is required to acheive the desired effect.

Glued up single-wood bowls and vases are functional and decorative part of any home decor. By placing the wood perpendicular to each other, you acheive a unique iridescent striping affect which adds interest.


Solid-stock is a term used for vases & bowls handcrafted from a solid ‘chunk’ of wood (vs glued up board lumber). These can produce unique color paterns and some unusual unexpected wood characteristics.



Nest of bowls cut from one piece of wood:

  • The bowl blank, which has been roughly cut to the right shape with a chainsaw, is mounted onto a spiked mandrel with a sharp tap of the hammer.
  • The blank is mounted between the poppits on the lathe from which short iron spikes project. Great care is needed at this point to ensure it is mounted centrally.
  • Once centred, the drive cord is wrapped twice around the mandrel and the outside of the bowl is shaped with a hook tool.


  • The blank is removed from the lathe and reversed to enable the inside to be shaped. The long, curved tools I use enable me to cut the inside of the bowl to within an inch of the base, retaining the core intact to be remounted and turned into further bowls.
  • The core is snapped out and the very bottom of the bowl is smoothed using a specially-designed curved knife. Finally, the small piece of end waste is removed from the base with an axe.
  • The core is re-mounted on the lathe and the process started again until the nest is completed.

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