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Lou Pignolet Bowls

Artistic and useful lathe-turned wooden bowls.

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Click here to see New Work in my new website

This web site will be retired within several months so please to go to the new improved one. You can still use this site as I will keep it up to date until is is removed. I would appreciate feedback on the new site!  Thanks,  Lou

Information about my Tutorial on Turning Bark Edged Bowls
I teach this 2 1/4 day tutorial at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais (5 - 7:30 PM on day 1) and in my woodturning shop in Hovland (9 - 5 on days 2 and 3).  I will be teaching several tutorials in 2017. Dates for 2017 are July 20-22 and August 17-19. Registration for these classes opened on Monday, December 19, at 8 AM. Both of these classes filled up quickly a few weeks after they were posted. I have added a third class for Tuesday, September 5, through Thursday, September 7.  Details about registration, content, and requirements are on my class page of the North House class websiteThe tutorial requires students to have had some bowl turning experience on a power lathe.  This is an important prerequisite! The class is taught in my shop because we require large variable speed lathes not avail on the North House campus and too heavy and sensitive to haul around. I currently have three lathes. One is a Powermatic 3520B lathe with a 36" bed, so it can be used for spindles and bowls up to 18" diameter.  The other two are Vega bowl lathes (model 2400 and 2600). The Vega lathes are designed for turning bowls since there is a short bed to support a tool rest and a 26" swing (bowls up to 25" diameter can be turned).  The tail stock is easily removable so the Vega lathes are great for turning bowls. The Vega 2600 is brand new! I have students experience all three lathes if possible for maximum learning, but each student will have full time on a lathe during days 2 and 3.

 I have written a rather detailed document that describes the process of turning bark edged bowls with information about where to find special turning equipment and supplies.
Please download and view this document if you are taking my class.
It opens in a new window! You can save it to your computer.

October 2016 Bark Edged Bowl Turning Tutorial (10/27-23/29)
My third class in 2016 had three students, Wayne, Bob, and John. I did not take a lot of photos but here are a few of Wayne turning a small maple burl into a nice bowl. More to come soon.

July 2016 Bark Edged Bowl Turning Tutorial (7/21-23/1
My second class in 20
July 2016 Bark Edged Bowl Turning Tutorial (7/21-23/16)
My second class in 2016 had three students, Jack, Bob, and Steve. They turned cherry and aspen bark edged bowls and cherry and maple burl bowls.

June 2016 Bark Edged Bowl Turning Tutorial (6/23-25/16)
This class was offered with a new format which limits class size to 3 students and meets at North House Folk School for day 1 from 5 - 7:30 PM, and in my Hovland shop for days 2 and 3 from 9 - 5. This worked well since I now have three lathes (a new Vega 2600 bowl lathe, a Vega 2400 bowl lathe, and a Powermatic 3420B). The students (Bob, Mark, and Steve) were able to practice on day 1 using North House's new One Way 1640 lathe and do full time turning in my shop. Here are some images from the class. The wood used was cherry, cherry burl, and black walnut. Can you identify the type of wood in the photos?

August 2015 Bark Edged Bowl Turning Class (8/18/15)
Another class was just completed. Four students, Carolyn, Don, Randy, and Rob spent two days turning cherry and black ash bark edged bowls. On the second day everyone turned cherry burl bowls.  The following images are from the class.



June 2015 Bark Edged Bowl Turning Class (6/23/15)
We just completed a bowl turning class with four students, Dave, Cub, Paul and Bill. The students turned artistic bark edged bowls from birch, black ash, cherry, and cherry burl. The following images are from the class.

August 2014 Bark Edged Bowl Turning Classes  (8/27/14)

My two bark edged bowl turning classes took place on August 19 - 20 and 22 - 23 with a total of 8 students. Everyone in these classes did a great job turning natural bark edged bowls. We even turned some burls brought by the students. I encourage students to bring wood to turn, including burls.

The first class was attended by Chip, Dennis, Dave, and Glen. Here are a few photos of their experience.

The second class was attended by Jim M, Jim B, Norm, and Karen. Here are a few photos of their experience.

Sorry Norm, I did not get an action shot of you turning. Stop back some day and we can fix that!

April 2014 Bark Edged Bowl Turning Class  (4/26/14)

My bark edged bowl turning class happened yesterday and today, Friday and Saturday. Friday morning we had 8" of wet snow and un-plowed roads and driveway. My two students, Loren and chuck, arrived on time and after a little shoveling and pushing to free a stuck car, we were warmed up for turning. I was amazed they got to Hovland at all! They started turning bark edged birch bowls from prepared bowl blanks with plans for maple bowls to follow. Well, they got half way through the birch when the power started to go out, and on, and out, etc, until finally out for good. It was surreal to watch the bowl turning with the lathes running fast and then slowing, the lights out, and then on, and speeding up lathes, and slowing down again. For the rest of the day we spent a lot of time discussing the process of selecting the wood, cutting bowl blanks, mounting them on a lathe, turning, drying, and sanding bark edged bowls. Then we decided to turn two good sized black ash burls the next day when the power better be on. Chuck brought the burls with him. I don't usually have students turn burls in my classes since they are much more difficult and tricky to turn, but Chuck and Loren both had good turning skills,  each had use of their own lathe, and the weather called for something special. We studied the burls, visualized how the bowls will emerge, and carefully cut/trimmed the burls with a chain saw in prepartation for tomorrow's turning. This was a great learning experience for the students since it is not obvious how to best turn a burl, especially when one wants to preserve the natural edge. Saturday brought sunny weather and the power was on so the birch bowls were quickly completed.  The black ash burls were mounted on the lathes. We used face plates and needed to do a lot of adjusting. We kept the tail stock on the burls to prevent any flying burls, which can always be unstable from decay/voids on the  inside. Photos tell the story. I was surprised how good these burl bowls "turned" out.


Photos of Class on Bark Edged Bowl Turning (August 10 and 11, 2013)A total of six students, Don, Dan, Dan, Pat, Karl, and Gary, took my turning class. Below are a few images from this class. All did a great job with black ash, Russian olive, red oak, and butternut wood!



Photos of Class on Bark Edged Bowl Turning (April 5, 6, and 9, 2013)
A total of three students, Brian, Jon and Charlie, took my turning class. Below are a few images from this class. All did a great job with birch and maple wood!

Photos of Class on Bark Edged Bowl Turning (July 6-7 2012)
Four students, Jill, Ian, Todd, and Marc were in my latest class and all were very productive.  It was a lot of fun to guide these students in wood a turning adventure.  The photos below show some of the highlights of the class.

As you can see in the photos, everyone really got into the action. Turning bark edged bowls is a lot more difficult than flat rimmed bowls, especially when the wood is wet and the bark likes to fly off.  They all learned the importance in cyanoacrylate glue!  Bowls were made from birch, tamarack, and box elder.  The box elder had beautiful red stains from a special fungus that is in some box elder.  Thanks to Paul who took my last class in June for providing the box elder wood. Can you identify the wood being used in the photos?

Photos of Class on Bark Edged Bowl Turning (June 2012)
I did a special class for Paul who had to drop the March class due to illness.  It was fun teaching only one student and Paul was quite experienced so he tackled some difficult pieces.  One was a large cherry burl shown in the images below.  He managed to turn three beautiful bark edged bowls, the cherry burl, a very dry piece of black walnut, and a piece of wet elm where the bark had a strong desire to pop off curing turning.  He learned a lot and was thankful for super glue.

Photos of a Recent Class on Bark Edged Bowl Turning (March 2012)
My second wood turning class was completed on March 4, 2012, in the new wood turning shop.  Photos of the class action are included below.  Although six students had registered, three had to cancel at the last minute due to medical situations. These three will be taking the class the next time it is offered.  I generally team students up on a lathe, but with three students and three lathes the class dynamic was very different. Each student had their own lathe and worked straight through for 2.5 days without even a lunch break (I offer an extra half day for practice turning).  These students were all very productive and gained a lot of experience turning bark edged bowls.  In fact, the became nearly fanatic wood turners. The best way to learn is to turn bowls, make mistakes, try again, etc.  They all felt good about their accomplishments.  The photos below tell the story.

Lots of beautiful bowls from birch, elm, Russian olive, and maple

Photos of the First Class on Bark Edged Bowl Turning (August 2011)
I taught this class for the first time in August of 2011 in my garage and only had the Powermatic and Craftsman lathes. The four students had a great time and produced some nice bark edged bowls.  The following images were taken during the class.