Tuesday, 3 February 2015

George Lailey Bowl

George Lailey is famous for being the last English pole lathe bowl turner. A misnomer of sorts as there are quite a few around now, however at the time he died I understand it was just him. I heard about him through Robin Wood's blog and in his book The Wooden Bowl. I was absolutely thrilled last year when in a local antiques shop I found what looked to be one of his bowls. As soon as I got it home I put a picture on the green woodworking forum to see what the experts thought and the general consensus was that it is a Lailey bowl.

It was great to own a lovely bowl that is also a piece of history, but also to be able to study and learn from it. So the other day I decided to turn a bowl, not a copy of my Lailey, but something inspired by it.

It was nice to be turning Sycamore again. I've mostly been turning Birch recently, but I think that Sycamore might be my favourite (a favourite of many traditional turners as well according to Robin's book). The smell was fantastic and brought back some great memories.

I made the walls a bit thicker than usual as it was in keeping with the Lailey bowl. It gives it a nice sturdy feel without being clunky.

My chuck doesn't have jaws big enough for the size of foot I wanted, so I had to have a foot within a foot.

Here they are together. Like I said, it wasn't an attempt to make an exact copy of the Lailey bowl. I didn't take any measurements or hold them next to each other for a comparison. I just put the original on a shelf near my Lathe and glanced up at it from time to time. look forward to seeing how it moves as it dries. Hopefully it will develop some nice movement.

Check out this link for a post by Robin Wood on George Lailey.

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