While our world and our lives are filled with many beautiful objects, man-made and natural, from a myriad of materials, graceful, rough-hewn, elegant, dramatic or simple; it has most often been objects of wood that have captured my attention and imagination, and I have spent a life-time working with wood in many applications and methods.
I believe I was drawn to the art of wood turning because of the organic, sustaining and renewable quality of the wood itself. That, and the simple warm beauty of each and every piece of wood.
For all of Human history, wood has been used in vessel and bowl form to store, carry and serve the food that sustains and renews our lives and it is this organic cycle that I'm seeking in the bowls and vessels I create in my shop.
Although I love the graceful lines and swirling patterns of bowls made from a single piece of wood, I chose to work with segmentation for a number of reasons: Wood is a precious resource, and even though it is renewable, we continue to use wood more swiftly than it is renewed. Segmentation often allows me to use wood that might be discarded otherwise. I feel that segmentation helps represent the multiplicity of the organic cycle. It takes many pieces to form the whole object. Finally, segmentation allows me to express a connection with all the cultural history of the world as seen through bowls and vessels.
MADERA bowls are constructed of various exotic and domestic woods selected to show off their remarkable colors and grains. After designing the approximate shape, size and pattern of bowl desired, strips of each wood chosen are cut into segments and the segments are glued together into rings. The rings are then sanded and glued into a stack of rings on a base piece to form the rough bowl. The rough bowl is placed on the wood lathe and turned by the use of cutting tools such as gouges and scrapers to the desired shape. After shaping, the bowl is sanded and any highlights such as metal wrapping are added. The MADERA logo is burned onto the bottom of the bowl and five coats of finish are then applied by hand. The bowl is lightly sanded between coats of finish. When the final coat of finish has cured, the bowl is polished and waxed with carnuba wax.
MADERA bowls are functional art--they are meant to be used. The glues and finishes used in the construction process are non-toxic and approved by the FDA for use on utensils and toys. The finish is very hard and resistant to damage by water or any food products. However, it is advised that the bowls be hand washed in warm soapy water and then dried by hand. Occasionally wiping the bowl with mineral oil or a vegatable oil such as canola oil will help maintain a nice lustrous finish.