Book Review: The Art of the Turned Bowl

Reviewer: John Morgan

The Art of the Turned Bowl by Richard Raffan, 2008.

When you have mastered the basics of a typical fruit bowl where do you go next to improve and develop your technique?  This may be the book for you.

Richard includes chapters on choice and preparation of wood blanks, different shapes and forms, walls, rims and bases, green woodturning and finally surface decoration. The book has clear text with a wealth of beautiful photographs and very clear drawings.

The chapter on shape and form shows through photographs and diagrams good and bad shapes. Shapes can also be changed with just a few design modifications. Perhaps one of the best chapters is the one on walls, rims and bases. Here Richard shows many different ideas which are so easy for us to use in our turning. This is my favourite part of the book.

Surface decoration by staining, burning and carving are not to every ones liking but this chapter has plenty of ideas. I like the use of beads on the inside and outside of bowls.  I have found this to be very effective.

“The Art of the Turned Bowl” is one of my favourite books, its lovely to browse through the photographs and be inspired to practise and enjoy woodturning.

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