I remember the day I first heard of Dave Fisher. I was standing in front of my shop talking with one of my students about Instagram and he mentioned Dave Fisher. He seemed surprised that I’d never heard of him, so he pulled out his phone and started looking for Dave’s Instagram account.
This is usually a non-starter for me. Most of the time I find myself gritting my teeth as I peer over the person’s shoulder at a tiny screen. But Dave Fisher’s work was different. Beautiful flowing curves and crisp tool marks filled the screen. They were, quite simply, the most beautiful wooden bowls I had ever seen. Beautifully photographed too!
Then Curtis Buchanan met him at Greenwood Fest and kept telling me what a nice guy he is. He’s been high up on my list of people I’d like to meet ever since. I am thrilled that he has agreed to teach a three-part bowl carving class with me. We’ll meet virtually for the first time during the class in a couple weeks.
The week before Dave’s class, I’m going to teach a class on Woodturning for Chairmakers. I’ve been intimidated about teaching woodturning online, but during the reamer class I realized that we have so many cameras that in some ways it might be better than learning in person. You can go practice, then watch the recording, then repeat over and over till you can turn your brain off and just turn. Here’s the scoop:
We’ll talk about turning green and dry wood, and look at how different wood species work in the lathe. Setting up the lathe will be discussed and we’ll look at a few different home-made tool rests. Techniques for sharpening and using the roughing gouge, spindle gouge, parting tool and skew chisel will be shown in detail. Elia will then turn samples of double-bobbin, baluster and bamboo chair legs and answer all your questions. $40 or pay-what-you-can – register on my Online Classes page.
In this first session, we’ll begin with the orientation of the future bowl in the log. We’ll go on to prepare the blank and use a compass in various ways to establish reference points for a symmetrical layout. We’ll learn adze and gouge technique for creating the hollow. We’ll leave time for questions and discuss managing green wood before and during the carving stages. $40 or pay-what-you-can- register on my Online Classes page.
In this session, we’ll layout the foot on our still-green blank and learn a systematic approach to sculpting the complex exterior surfaces with an axe, a drawknife, and a gouge. Alternative tools and methods will also be discussed. We will take time to discuss drying procedures and other considerations to avoid cracking. Again, we’ll leave time for discussing questions thoroughly. $40 or pay-what-you-can – register on my Online Classes page.
After two weeks of drying, the green-carved bowls will be ready for the final transformation. We’ll learn various holding strategies as we refine the hollow and flatten the bottom. We’ll also explore various texturing options and fluting as we finish the side and end surfaces. We’ll refine the upper rim and cut the important final chamfers. We’ll also briefly explore various decorative options. Oil finishing will be discussed and there will be time for questions. $40 or pay-what-you-can – register on my Online Classes page.