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Maple Hollow Form Bowl


Maple Hollow Form Bowl is a style of woodturning that references a bowl with a small opening at the top.  It takes skill and practice to remove most of the interior wood because you cannot see what is happening.  My wife thinks they are useless, but many turners enjoy making them.  The size is 9.5 inch diameter by 6 inches high.  Here is a link to another hollow form piece Dragonfly Hollow Form Vase

David Ellsworth invented the Hollow Form Style for woodturning.  Previously it was a form practiced by glass blowers and ceramists.  David, a student of ceramics thought it would be possible to make this shape with wood. The challenge is that woodturning is a process that removes material. Ceramics and glass add material and can be manipulated by moving the material around. With a block of wood the turner cannot make the block larger or make it liquid.  David invented tools that enter a small hole in the form and then remove material from the inside. The turner cannot see the cutting process and proceeds by constantly removing debris from the interior and remeasuring.  

What is a Hollow Form?

Hook shape tools enter a small hole and the maker directs the tool towards the side walls. The carving process takes place as the wood revolves at high speed and the artist cannot see what is happening. It takes practice and experience not to break through the wall. With constant measuring and a specific sound the maker is aware of progress. The goal is to finish the piece with thin and evenly thick walls. It take a bit of practice and patience to make a hollow form.

From Utility to Art Form

This process, credited to David, is revolutionary and changed woodturning which was producing utilitarian items like bowls to that of creating wood art and sculpture on a lathe. Ellsworth openly shares this technique and it is a known fact that if you ask a woodturner how they make something they will share their knowledge with you. This is not so true in other crafts. Ask a jeweler how they made their piece and chances are they will not share their technique.


I produce all my art in my New Jersey, USA studio.  If you are looking for a special gift like this Maple Hollow Form Bowl take a look at my Etsy shop


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