Large Ash Bowl
January 30, 2022
This large bowl took longer than it could have.
At 28cm across, this Ash bowl is the largest that will fit on my lathe.
My original plan for this bowl involved staining it red and orange with black grain highlights - but this didn't go quite to plan.
Initial, it started off going quite well. Once I had turned the bowl to the desired shape, I first dyed the bowl all black - the dye soaked in deeper into the open grain - and when I sanded it back, I had black highlights in the grain. I then dyed it red and orange, using the lighter colours to show off the pattern in the grain, and blending the colours so they fade into each other. This colouring came out quite nicely.
Next, following the internet's advice, I added a layer of oil to bring out the grain pattern - making the bowl stunning. I followed with a coat of sanding sealer - this is where it started to go wrong - the sanding sealer reacted strangely over the oil - it wouldn't dry and then went to a pasty consistency.
I then sanded it all back to start again. First, I tried to reapply the black stain and sand it back again to highlight the grain again - however, this didn't leave the grain highlighted - it came out patchy. I think the oil soaked deeper into the open gain, and the oil's presence prevented the wood from taking the colour of the stain. I tried this again, but I got the same result, even after taking more wood off the bowl.
I then decided to cut my losses, knock it back, and finish it with a simple oil. Although the bowl didn't come out anything like I had planned - I am pleased with the overall result.
I plan to obtain another piece of Ash to try again to make the red and orange bowl with black grain highlights - however, before trying another bowl of this size, I'll invest in a larger chuck to mount the bowl on the lathe.