Blair Davis graduated from OSU in aeronautical engineering and earned a second degree in science education. But one summer of cabinetmaking turned him to the science and engineering possibilities of wood.
His pieces begin with the sound of a landscaper’s chainsaw or the sight of a felled tree after a storm. Ohioans live in the midst of hardwood heaven and he likes to see it put to good use. After 30 years as a cabinetmaker, Blair decided to concentrate on turning vessels out of native maple, walnut, cherry, oak and elm trees.
The process begins soon after a tree is downed. With a practiced eye, Blair selects the most interesting pieces. The wood is “chucked up” on the lathe and a general shape is turned. Forming the bowl is an artistic, physical, and sometimes dangerous process. Cracks emerge, bugs appear, rot happens. Potential peices sometimes end up sawdust and firewood.
Each rough-turned piece is weighed and numbered. Blair reweighs the pieces monthly, waiting until the moisture slowly evaporates and the weight stabilizes. If the piece survives drying, it is remounted on the lathe for the final turning, sanding and finishing. A great deal of the composition is left to chance because Blair never knows what beautiful patterns might emerge during turning.
These bowls are both decorative and practical. They are safe for serving food. Particularly oily or moist food may change the color of the wood if left for a long time in the vessel. Limit the exposure to liquids. To clean, wipe with a damp cloth.
See his YouTube turning video
1 Hartford Court
Worthington, OH 43085