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Stephen Bowen, Wood Artist
Stephen Bowen is a retired professor from Emory College in Georgia. He has worked in wood for many years while teaching. Retiring in Michigan, has allowed him to focus on his art form full-time.
Stephen says this about working in wood: “I love working with wood. I like the feel of wood – the weight, density, and texture of different species. I like the smells – walnut, oak, cherry, pine, sassafras all have distinctive odors. I like the great variety of colors and grain patterns. Wood has a warmth that other rigid materials lack. They feel good in the hand and they make a nice “thunk” when placed on the counter. Wooden bowl’s warmth is an important part of hygge, the Danish life style that gets Danes through long winters and helps to make Denmark the happiest nation on Earth.”
Stephen enjoys the artistic and technical challenges in making wooden bowls. A given piece of wood has properties best suited to only one design form. Most forms are just ok, but the right form draws you in – it is a pleasure to see and handle it. He studies forms of bowls and pots in museums and import shops for new and refined ideas in a process that is never complete.
Stephen creates the rough form using a variety of tools. The rough form dries for a few months to years depending on the wood. Once dry, the bowl returns to the lathe for its final shaping. He uses finishes that are food safe.
Stephen’s bowls tend to be utilitarian: fruit bowls; salad bowls; snack bowls; bowls for keys, coins, and jewelry at the end of the day. We hope you just like having them around.