The Zen Buddhist philosophy emphasizes reaching a state of mind where only you and the task at hand reside in your awareness. This is the state of mind that I try to reach while turning wood or fabricating parts for bowls inmy studio. In keeping with the Zen traditions of simplicity, focus, and calm abiding, my work is aimed at trying to achieve those goals in every line and curve of the turning.
Some days the hours quietly disappear into the work and I am surprised when I stop and find myself ankle deep in wood shavings. If the piece is nicely shaped and if the grain and texture of the wood combine to make you want to hold it or just enjoy its unique look, the energy you have expended is transformed into a clam joy.
Each piece of wood is unique and rarely perfect. Knots, crotches, and twisted grain are prized and incorporated to best blend with the whole and sometimes to emphasize an interesting grain pattern, spalting, or maybe a flaw like a knothole.