Monday, September 22, 2008

Japanese Bowls, a Memphis Perspective

Text by Joan Kelly and video by Larry Sefton

Japanese Bowls, a Memphis Perspective is a project of the Mid-South Woodturners Guild. This endeavor is patterned after a similar collection of turnings, Japanese Bowls, A Western Perspective, by internationally recognized woodturning artists. In early 2007, the American Association of Woodturners was given several dozen roughed-turned rice bowls. These bowls were left over from a New York exhibition (which included a demonstration component) of traditional Japanese urushi ware, an art form that dates back 6,000 years. The artists were invited to take one of the rough bowls, which were essentially identical, and finish them in their own unique styles.

Dennis Paullus, a long time member of MSWG, undertook the effort to duplicate the rough turned traditional bowls like the Japanese produce. These rough bowls are turned from green wood and are approximately five inches tall and five inches in diameter. They are left about an inch thick to allow for warping of the wood as it dries. After a suitable drying period, guild members were invited to take one of the bowls and create the Memphis Perspective.

Our members bring a wide variety of experience to the lathe. The only requirement for guild membership is having an interest in woodturning. This show represents the efforts of people who turn “just for fun” and people who aspire to be gallery artists; people who have turned for a short while, and people who have turned for decades.

For more information about the Mid-South Woodturners Guild, please visit our web site at

1 comment:

Bob Speier said...

Excellent video's larry. The Midsouth Woodturners should be very proud of their work.