"In Transition" - A Natural Edge Walnut Calabash

  • Advertise with us
Project by mike posted 06-08-2008 01:45 AM 1947 views 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In Transition measures 10” wide on the long axis, 8” on the short axis and stands 6” high. The average
wall thickness is 3/16” and weighs 9 oz.

Bowl blank from a tree harvest in January 2008 the piece was turned green and to final form and wall thickness then allowed to air dry for 2 weeks before finishing. Final sanding to 400 grit and finished with 5 coats of Watco Danish Oil, buffed with white diamond and waxed.

The calabash sits on an independent walnut base.

This piece is currently on display display at the MFA Gallery in Annapolis, MD. Through June 22 as part of a juried show of the Chesapeake Woodturners.

-- Mike, Maryland,

13 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3985 days

#1 posted 06-08-2008 01:58 AM

That’s one great looking piece. Those edges look awful fragile.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3765 days

#2 posted 06-08-2008 02:54 AM

thats a really creative piece. like Gary said those edges do look fragile,

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4215 days

#3 posted 06-08-2008 03:29 PM

Beautiful piece!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3764 days

#4 posted 06-09-2008 03:56 AM

Gorgeous piece of art. How did you dry it? Thank you for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3238 posts in 3709 days

#5 posted 06-10-2008 06:55 AM

That is absolutely incredible work! I love the thin walls, but cannot imagine how you were able to keep the bark intact.

Can you tell us how you turned it? Was it turned from an oval log to acquire the shape? If so, how do you keep from chipping out each time the knife re-enters the wood when you get past the 8 inches? And just how do you keep the fragile bark intact? We’ve never heard of turning green wood to finished thickness before drying. Everything we’ve read always says to leave it somewhat thick and then turn again after drying. Did you microwave it at all? Obviously, you certainly know how to turn. We would have guessed that you used a grinder or some other manual method. We’d love to know more. Can you write a blog about it?

This is a truly spectacular piece!

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View mike's profile


46 posts in 4307 days

#6 posted 06-10-2008 03:49 PM

Thanks for all the great comments and questions. Give me a couple of days and I will write this project up for the group. Since the piece is currently on display at the Maryland Federation of the Arts Circle Gallery in Annapolis, MD this is the only picture I have so unfortunately you can’t see the bottom.

For those that may be unaware “In Transition” is turned as a calabash. That is the bowl has no foot at the base and is turned round to mimic the shape of a gourd. The inspiration came from a demonstration of historic Hawaiian bowls which often took this shape so that the bowl could be nestled in the sand and always be stable. The base that the piece sits on is turned from another piece of walnut and is unattached to the bowl. This permits the bowl to be displayed at an angle pleasing to the owner or the environment.

More to come by the weekend.

Cheers Mike

-- Mike, Maryland,

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3819 days

#7 posted 06-13-2008 11:38 AM


This is a beautiful turning. The natural edge certainly adds to the visual interest of the piece. I would be interested in seeing your blog on this one.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View jeanmarc's profile


1899 posts in 3713 days

#8 posted 06-13-2008 09:56 PM

Very nice work

-- jeanmarc manosque france

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4311 days

#9 posted 06-16-2008 12:48 AM

These turnings are awsome! I just love them.

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 3700 days

#10 posted 07-09-2008 11:16 AM

Great looking bowl!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View mmh's profile


3676 posts in 3719 days

#11 posted 11-10-2008 11:55 PM

What a wonderful and unique bowl! What type of lathe are you using?

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View mike's profile


46 posts in 4307 days

#12 posted 11-11-2008 05:33 AM


Thanks for the look and the comments.

My shop lathe is a Rikon Midi Lathe with one bed extension.

For this piece I roughed out the blank on a larger lathe at our woodturners club and then brought the rough out back to my shop and did the finish turning.

If you get a chance please join us at the Chesapeake Woodturners meeting the 3rd Saturday of each month.
This month’s guest demonstrator is Jerry Whitehurst. You can find details on the club wedsite


-- Mike, Maryland,

View helluvawreck's profile


31062 posts in 2864 days

#13 posted 11-09-2015 01:30 PM

Mike, this is a beautiful bowl and the wood is wonderful.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics