Monday, May 21, 2018

Mark Gardner - Wood Artist

HL200908-7Mark Gardner, a Wood Artist from Saluda, North Carolina was our Double Header demonstrator for August. Mark has taught at JC Campbell Folk School and at Arrowmont.

HL200908-5First, Mark turned a hollow form the easy way.  Instead of hollowing the vessel through a tiny hole, he basically turned it like a lidded container and then glued the lid on. Not only is it easier to hollow out a vessel this way it is easier to clean out the shavings as well as gauge the thickness of the walls.   He generally recommends putting the seam at the widest diameter.  He uses Medium CA as yellow glue does not work well with green wood. Here are a couple of pictures of the vessels he typically makes.  He uses green wood for this but lets it dry before carving the handles.  He strives for a uniform wall thickness of ¼" - 3/8" plus or minus a 1/16". With this type of vessel he sometimes puts the seam just below the handles.

HL200908-4In his second demonstration, Mark illustrated his own take on the idea of a square bowl. He generally uses dry wood for this with two or more pieces glued together. His roughing out process produces two bowl blanks. He used three different axis to turn this bowl, and at one point, held the bowl on the lathe using 2x4s, hot glue and drywall screws.    This demo helped to illustrate his approach to turning and the use of the lathe as a tool for shaping wood, not just for making it round.  You can see more of his work at

Here is a sample of this type of four sided bowl.

written by Mike Peace

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