Turning Wood Bowls

Brian Childers in his Brookings, OR workshop.

Brian Childers in his Brookings, OR workshop.

Turning exotic hardwoods is fun…that’s why I do it. The act of manipulating a block of wood with saw and drill and lathe to find the possibilities within is both a maddening series of questions and a satisfying set of answers.

I focus on woods that will expose tantalizing features of grain and surface when finished. Using Padauk, Wenge, Satine, Purpleheart, Cocobolo, African Blackwood, and other rare hardwoods gives me a palette of colors and textures that I find rewarding to the eye and the hand.

I seldom begin a project with a firm vision of where it is going, but rather as I cut and turn the wood I try to pay attention to what shape the wood is pushing me towards.

My designs are influenced by the rounded details and fine finishes of the Arts & Crafts movement, which in turn are taken from the subtly elegant shapes found in the arts of Japan.

I try to keep my bowls and containers simple, unfussy…..take the focus away from the maker and put it on the piece itself.

My mentor M. Dale Chase, who took the art of turning to new levels, passed on advice that he himself had received from an elderly craftsman in Japan:

In whatever artistic endeavor you attempt, approach it always with these three words in your mind and in your heart…..




If you have any questions, or would like to discuss a custom piece, please use our contact me here or call 530-713-5360.