Small Basket Illusion Bowl

  • Advertise with us
Project by Lazyman posted 09-05-2018 02:41 AM 1410 views 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve seen a few of these posted here on LJ and have also seen a few YouTube demos on how to make them so I decided to give it a try. I had a small rough turned bradford pear bowl drying in a bag of shavings that was ready to use so decide to start with that. I finished turning the bowl and then cut beads using D-Way beading tools. A little pricey but they cut amazingly. Because the bowl is so small, it was a little challenging using the beading tools on the inside but it ultimately worked well enough.

I friction burned the grooves between the beads using a piece of cardboard from a 6-pack carton (IPA sampler from Total Wine & Spirits) and that worked surprisingly well. I didn’t want to splurge for a nice wood burner with tips designed for basket illusion bowls to burn the vertical line so instead, I modified a tip for a cheap wood burner I already had with a dremel and a small file. Again it worked okay though if I decide to do more of these, a nice burner with the appropriate tips would improve the process considerably. I needed a good way to layout the vertical lines so, remembering that my chuck has 24 index holes on the back, I rigged a toothpick indexing jig to lay them out (picture 4) before burning them.

So once I had the grid, I needed a pattern. I started by using some radial graph paper created by a program found online but changes and mistakes were way too time consuming so instead I drew up a grid in Sketchup which was much easier to play around with different pattern ideas and color combinations (5th picture for final result) I used Faber-Castell Pitt Art pins to color in the grid. They are supposedly more light stable than other markers and didn’t run when I sprayed the clear enamel finish.

I didn’t keep track exactly but this tiny 4” diameter bowl probably took me at least 10 hours to complete, including designing a pattern, so it is definitely not a quick weekend project. After completing the outside of the bowl, I decided it would be difficult to color in the pattern on the interior because it so small so I opted to leave it with just the grid. If I do another of these, I would probably do a platter to make it easier to bead, burn and color both sides.

Thanks for looking!

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

12 comments so far

View Woodknack's profile


13428 posts in 3179 days

#1 posted 09-05-2018 03:16 AM

That is super cool.

-- Rick M,

View Hawaiilad's profile


3374 posts in 3820 days

#2 posted 09-05-2018 04:25 AM

I don’t own or use a lathe, but I sure like what you did with that bowl.

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View Peteybadboy's profile


2011 posts in 2749 days

#3 posted 09-05-2018 09:21 AM

Really cool!

-- Petey

View EarlS's profile


3772 posts in 3147 days

#4 posted 09-05-2018 11:09 AM

That is wicked cool. The colors really emphasize the beads on the bowl sides. I’m going to check the local Hobby Lobby for those pens. The colors look great.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Ivan's profile


16044 posts in 3667 days

#5 posted 09-05-2018 11:22 AM

Incredible patience job!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View HokieKen's profile


14468 posts in 1938 days

#6 posted 09-05-2018 12:31 PM

That’s pretty stinkin’ awesome Nathan. Never seen one like that before.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View bushmaster's profile


3940 posts in 3082 days

#7 posted 09-05-2018 12:37 PM

nice work

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View Lazyman's profile


5627 posts in 2187 days

#8 posted 09-05-2018 02:34 PM

Thanks guys. Because I always like to try new techniques, I’ve been wanting to try this for a while and after a recent visit to Santa Fe and seeing some of the cool real woven baskets I was inspired. This technique is a little like paint by numbers once you have a pattern and a little tedious to do but a rewarding result. One lesson learned was to make the grooves between the beads just a little wider. Otherwise it is tough getting the pen tips deep enough without touching the neighboring bead. This with the steep sides of the bowl is what made it difficult to color in the inside of the bowl.

Earl, I bought some of my Pitt Art pens directly from Faber-Castell and others from Asel art supply locally. The single pens were actually cheapest from Asel. Look for the B (brush) tips to do most of the work but a fine or superfine tip can be handy if you need to get in deep into the groove. For some of the colors Amazon has the best price on sets 4 pen sets with multiple tips sizes.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View oldnovice's profile


7591 posts in 4167 days

#9 posted 09-05-2018 05:22 PM

To make that would take a lot more patience than I have and it’s way too beautiful to really appreciate in words.

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5606 posts in 1382 days

#10 posted 09-05-2018 11:18 PM

That’s pretty spiffy, Nathan! Not sure we can call you lazy after that, though…

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View John's profile


1835 posts in 2069 days

#11 posted 09-06-2018 03:55 AM

Nice looking bowl Nathan, I want to try one some day too.

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

View Lazyman's profile


5627 posts in 2187 days

#12 posted 09-06-2018 11:59 AM

Dave, as a retired I/T guy, it’s all about just the right amount of lazy. Sometimes brute force or tenacity is required.

Thanks John. Unfortunately if you don’t have the right tools, the first one can be a little expensive. I managed to get by with my cheap woodburner but the D-way beading tools were a little on the pricey side and I bought a bunch of art pens I didn’t ultimately use for this project so I could have saved some money there by picking which colors I was actually going to use before I bought them. I guess I just need to do a couple more to bring my average price down. This will be a good project for the winter because you can do the burning and coloring, which is the part that takes a while, at the breakfast table or even in your armchair where it is nice and warm.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics