Wooden bowl

What is Twice Turning?


Turning green wood successfully to create bowls or other types of vessels is one of the most satisfying things to do. You get to work with all kinds of exotic woods. The artisan uses a lathe that anchors and turns the block of wood for carving. This technique then produces a bowl as unique as the grain of the wood. Sounds easy, but it’s not the most straightforward skill to master because working with drying wood can be tricky. Fortunately, you can practice with some beginner woods like Myrtle wood or Big Leaf Maple. You can also select from our pre-cut wood sizes for ease in wood selection.

How Is It Done?

Twice turning, on the other hand, means that you rough-turn a piece for the first round of shaping, and then dry it gradually before turning it a second time. Pre-shaped wood is dried for months or sometimes even years, and most of it will shrink or crack when exposed to dry heat. Leave the sides about twice your desired finish thickness to compensate for shrinkage. Warped, pre-shaped bowls may be recovered by skillful final carving. As long as you know how to keep the cracks to a minimum, these bowls will survive the final round of turning and produce a masterpiece.


While kiln-dried exotic woods for homes are available to artists, using these kinds of materials can be expensive. Besides, part of the artistic process of turning wood is using common materials in your surroundings and turning them into wooden treasures with tons of personality.

The grain, spalting, burl eyes, color, figure, and rings all create unique visual interests in the wood. Take note of all of these things if you want to create something unique from a slab of wood.

Aside from the wood block, an artist uses a lathe to turn it, sharp tools for carving, as well as a sander to create a smooth surface. Then, food-safe oil is typically applied to highlight the wood features. Buffing and waxing the wooden bowl will give a more seamless finish.

Finding the right materials is essential for your green wood turning endeavors. Exotic woods fetch equally attractive prices once they become artwork, but they also substantially decrease the risks you take as an artist. On the other hand, sourcing salvaged domestic woods from Cook Woods will allow you to take risks and improve your craft over time.

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