|Project by TheGravedigger||posted 07-12-2007 04:20 AM||3240 views||4 times favorited||24 comments|
These bowls are used to hold stones for the game of Go. Known as Igo in Japan, Wei Chi in China, and Baduk in Korea, Go is widely considered to be the oldest board game still in common play. It is widely popular throughout the orient, with major tournaments backed by huge corporate sponsors, and a tremendous international rivalry between Japan, China, and Korea. The basics can be learned in a few minutes, but the strategic concepts can take a lifetime to master (if then!).
The bowls are shaped in the Go-Seigen style, which is characterized by a very simple form. The other predominant Japanese bowl style is Kitani, which is slightly narrower and taller with a more ornate beaded rim to the lid. I chose the Go-Seigen style because the simpler style worked better with the prominent grain of the wood. Kitani is more appropriate for a finer-grained wood such as mahogany, cherry, or maple. The lids of the bowls are used to hold captured stones , and therefore need a dished inside as well as a reasonably flat top so that they won’t rock when inverted. The trick is to provide this flat space without spoiling the lines of the bowl.
These bowls are turned from black locust, which is widely considered to be the hardest wood in North America. I don’t doubt it. Outside turning wasn’t so bad, but the hollowing was a nightmare. The payoff came in the glossy smooth surface that resulted from finishing. I rarely go this high, but final sanding was done with 800 grit, and actually improved the surface. The tung oil finish was simply a protectant, and added little extra gloss. I chose tung oil because it would be easy to refresh the look of the bowls as they wear in use.
-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog: http://littlegoodpieces.wordpress.com