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Group of Spirit Bowls

Ambrosia Maple Wood for Wood Turning

This is a Group of Spirit Bowls. The wood is Ambrosia Maple. The streaks of brown lines are creations of the Ambrosia Beetle as they eat their way through the tree. The small black holes that you see are where the Beetle enters and leaves the wood. The markings are form from bacteria and viruses produced by the beetle. Eventually, this leads to the demise of the tree.

The Purpose of Spirit Bowls

Spirit Bowl forms go way back and are common in many cultures. Native Americans and people of other ancient cultures held the belief that their ancestors return and visit. They would need a safe place to be in the present world. The small opening would allow for their entry and keep enemies out. I love this idea and often will gift a piece to a friend who has suffered a loss.

Hollow Form Style Woodturning

The style of this Group of Spirit Bowls in the photo are Hollow Form wood turnings Typically a bowl has a large opening tapering to a small base. Hollow Forms feature a very small hole at the top. It takes special skills and practice to achieve this. It takes patience to develop a skill set to make a piece like this. The turner does not see the wood he is removing from the inside walls. He uses calipers and listens to sound patterns which are indicators if things are going well. This style of turning was developed by David Ellsworth in the 1970’s. Prior to this time and for centuries the focus of woodturning was making utilitarian items. This invention became the paradigm for an art movement in woodturning.

Here is another example of a Spirit Form .


I produce my art in Montvale, New Jersey, USA. All items are unique and handmade. My primary machine is the wood lathe supported by a variety of back up machines like a Table Saw, Bandsaw, Planner, Jointer and more.


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