a new bowlturning friend in Japan

Over the last few weeks I have had some very nice correspondence with a gentleman by the name of Tomio Imaru in Japan. Tomio visited the UK and worked on the pole lathe with Mike Abbott in 2004 and has since made chairs in Japan but more recently he became interested in bowls and found my youtube videos and book. As he says

“The book and video are full of inspiration, and I was just taught the bowls and it’s craft.
The chair making with green woodwork tells me the time around the industrial revolution,
but wood bowl turning brings me a feeling of medival or ancient world.”

So just from the videos and book he has built a beautiful lathe, forged his own tools and turned bowls, here are some pictures.

I am not sure if it will show on the small pictures on the blog but the lathe is a beautiful hand hewn finish and the bowls too are finished straight off the tools with no abrasives. It took me a few years before I could do that so I am very impressed. Interestingly it was another Japanese Soetsu Yanagi in his book “The Unknown Craftsman, A Japanese insight into beauty” translated by the English potter Bernard Leach that first helped me to understand why I liked these rough hewn surfaces and the sometimes coarse but skillful work of country craftsman. It is a real joy to be connected with folk around the world sharing in the enjoyment of traditional craft skills.
You can Visit Tomio’s homepage here HTTP://homepage2.nifty.com/midorinocraft/?

I have also been busy in the workshop, this week I have been turning plates, these are copies of one from the wreck of the Mary Rose which sank in 1545. I have some ordered for the Mary Rose Trust but also have very few left in stock so need to get some more turned and dried. Here they are stacked on the workshop shelves where the air can pass around them for the next 6 weeks or so then they will be dry and ready for oiling.

One Response to a new bowlturning friend in Japan

  1. Ron December 19, 2011 at 4:53 am #

    Hi, I sometime go through your blog and well am not really a woodworker but have been fascinated by the Japanese ax (axe) and I finally won one through Ebay. Highly doubtful that it is 40 years old as I do see some in Japan town. The ax (or should I say hatchet) is small but has inscription which may be the person who made the axe and wonder if Tomio can tell more about its maker as soon at it arrives. Thanks and Happy Holidays.

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