Black Walnut Bowl

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Project by Mark Wilson posted 03-07-2018 11:47 PM 1145 views 0 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This began as a store-bought bowl blank that had been sitting on a shelf for two or three years. I needed to step away from my usual wild Things because my mojo’s missing. In an effort to recover some of said missing mojo, I bought a new tool. This piece is the first Thing I’ve made using my new Ellsworth gouge. You don’t get to see close-ups of the interior because it’s quite phoned in, really – my missing mojo took with it my ability to do a decent interior finish, despite the help of a couple of my Buddies, one of whom actually sent me a bowl sanding device that he made for me (thank you, Brian). This Thing was on my lathe for the better part of three months. It’s agonizing. You don’t want to know. About photo 6: The bottom is pretty severely dished. I left that button in the center purposely. Conpleted a couple weeks ago.
Now, if anyone will step up and mentor me on the art of sharpening an Ellsworth gouge, by hand, without anything like a Wolverine setup, that’d be great.
Thank you. And, I apologize.
If anyone sees my mojo wandering around, staring at its navel, wondering what to do with itself, would you please toss a rope around it and let me know where I may retrieve it?
A couple more photos, on top of my red car, on a cloudy day, because my back hurts too much to squat down like I have to for the other ones.

-- Mark

25 comments so far

View robscastle's profile


7237 posts in 3004 days

#1 posted 03-07-2018 11:57 PM

Looks to be nice work there Mark.

-- Regards Rob

View JPJ's profile


819 posts in 3419 days

#2 posted 03-08-2018 12:03 AM

Nice work !

View leafherder's profile


1963 posts in 2752 days

#3 posted 03-08-2018 12:07 AM

Very nice, interesting shape, kind of a Native American influence there – appropriate with the American Black Walnut.

Your Mojo is not missing just taking a breather to recharge and absorb new and different energies.

Take care,


-- Leafherder

View doubleDD's profile (online now)


9527 posts in 2843 days

#4 posted 03-08-2018 12:20 AM

Taking a breather is good for your mojo. Just warming up again for the big one. Looks great.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24923 posts in 3905 days

#5 posted 03-08-2018 12:45 AM

Nice bowl, Mark.


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View BobWemm's profile


2867 posts in 2726 days

#6 posted 03-08-2018 12:50 AM

Hi Mark, Glad to see you’re back at it, for a while I thought you may have “relaxed your grip”. Good to know that is not what happened. LOL
My mojo has been a bit slack as well lately, it didn’t leave but just decided to back off and try some other stuff, like Acrylic Pouring and Resin Art. Now there is a TRAP.
I too have one of those Ellsworth Gouges, and it would have to be the most difficult to sharpen of all the chisels. luckily I have one of those fancy sharpening jigs, but it has never worked as well as it did when new.
So I apologise that I can be no help to you in that regard.
Thanks for sharing.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View peteg's profile


4436 posts in 3622 days

#7 posted 03-08-2018 01:26 AM

Mark I haven’t done any turning for sooo long I don’t even know what Mojo is ??? :)

Hey, that’s great lookin bowl by the way, good to see you back


-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View lew's profile


13143 posts in 4555 days

#8 posted 03-08-2018 01:39 AM

I think it looks great and from the pictures the inside seems to be just fine!

As for mojo- mine and yours must be hanging out together. I have 3 pieces of manzanita laying on the lathe. I walk by, pick them up turn them over and just stare blankly at the shapes. I know there’s something hidden in them, I just can’t seem to see it.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View bushmaster's profile


3940 posts in 3082 days

#9 posted 03-08-2018 03:38 AM

Been thinking of you lately now that it is warmed up enough to be in the shop everyday, was going to send you an email and see how you are doing and what you have been up to. Miss all your great projects and stories. Got quite abit done the last two weeks and will be posting more projects now. Did some fancy turning the last two days, fancy for me that is. Nice to see you back.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View John's profile


1835 posts in 2069 days

#10 posted 03-08-2018 04:14 AM

Nice finish Mark, goes well with the always great looking Black Walnut. The inside looks awesome to me too!

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

View Ivan's profile


16044 posts in 3667 days

#11 posted 03-08-2018 05:41 AM

Beuatiful wood and indeed very nice and unusual unique contours of that bowl.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2840 posts in 1863 days

#12 posted 03-08-2018 07:02 AM

Thank you all.

-- Mark

View Jacksdad's profile


247 posts in 1224 days

#13 posted 03-08-2018 11:51 AM

Even David Ellsworth uses a jig for sharpening, the bowl looks great

View ClydeWoodArt's profile


7 posts in 1025 days

#14 posted 03-08-2018 05:03 PM

That is a nice bowl! For encouragement, I too have difficulty at times smoothing the insides of bowls and it isn’t that the tool isn’t sharp enough. So relax, don’t get up tight and keep perfecting your craftsmanship!

-- B. Clyde Beck

View luv2learn's profile


3069 posts in 3102 days

#15 posted 03-08-2018 05:34 PM

Glad you and your mojo are back Mark. Your bowl is beautiful.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

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