07-29-2014, 05:55 AM
#1
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Gentlemen, the first in next group of my luxury shaving bowls is now available for your consideration in my Etsy shop. This example, #3843, was hand made of a wood lathe from Amboyna burl that's been soaked to saturation in a hardening oil to stand up to the rigors of the wet shaving environment. Two others in Cocobolo are still in the finishing process and will hopefully be available later in the week. (Cocobolo, being more dense, takes longer for the oil to cure.) I also expect to have specially designed lathering bowls in black and bastogne walnut as well. Each is signed, numbered and shipped with full usage & care instructions along with a signed Certificate of Authenticity.
[Image: BLhLyTU.jpg]

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 07-29-2014, 05:58 AM
#2
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Oh my! These are gorgeous, Brad.

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 07-29-2014, 06:30 AM
#3
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More smashing work, Brad. I had never heard of Amboyna before. Its character is very distinctive, and you sure have brought it out beautifully.

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 07-29-2014, 06:33 AM
#4
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i think this is perfect for storing popular soap pucks

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 07-29-2014, 06:37 AM
#5
  • Snuff
  • Senior Member
  • Belgium
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A very beautiful piece, a shame that I'm not in the US ....

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 07-29-2014, 06:40 AM
#6
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I'm honored that you gentlemen appreciate my work! Amboyna burl is one of (some folks say) THE most sought after of wood burls--and therefore one of the most expensive(!) It comes from Southeast Asia (Borneo and surrounding areas.) It's typically reserved for custom furniture, and is especially prized in the woodturning community for very high-end wood turned bowls, vases and urns.

(07-29-2014, 06:37 AM)Snuff Wrote: A very beautiful piece, a shame that I'm not in the US ....

If you have an interest, please send me a PM with your shipping address. I am happy to quote shipping to Belgium or anywhere else in the world.

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 07-29-2014, 07:03 AM
#7
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Very nice work Brad. That bowl is beautiful!

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 07-31-2014, 09:47 AM
#8
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Gentlemen: A day late (but hopefully not a dollar short), I'm delighted to introduce the first in what I expect will become two new series of lather bowls. Both examples are in black walnut, finished in many coats of a penetrating, hardening Tung Oil-based finish widely known in the woodturning community for its resistance to water.

The bottoms of both bowls sport concentric incised rings--and have been left unsanded--to create extra friction that, in turn, aids in more easily creating that rich, luxurious lather we all enjoy. We sometimes see this feature in pottery bowls, but it's something I've not seen in wooden ones.

The first bowl is in fairly plain wood and is priced at $28.50, plus $8.00 domestic priority mail shipping (International rates are input in Etsy.) The second (sold) is has a more rounded form. That piece exhibits some very nice "flame" figure. It was priced at $35.00US. More in this form may be had.

I invite you to view all the details by clicking on the Wet Shaving section of my Etsy shop!

Thank you for your consideration!
[Image: FlfvqaN.jpg][Image: K19h7tI.jpg]

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 08-05-2014, 10:35 AM
#9
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Here, for your consideration, is next in my series of luxury shaving bowls. Measuring ~120mm tall x 117mm-137mm in diameter with a generous internal cavity for building plentiful lather, it's finished in multiple coats of a penetrating/hardening finish for water resistance. Further information may be obtained by viewing the Etsy listing.
[Image: ly8IpER.jpg]

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 08-06-2014, 07:36 AM
#10
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Fantastic pieces of art, Brad.
These bowls awesome.

Do they last long enough, considering the fact that water plays an important role here.

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 08-08-2014, 04:07 AM
#11
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Gentlemen, Here for your consideration is another of my Luxury Lidded Shaving Bowls. Hand made from the same slab of Cocobolo as the one listed yesterday. This one however exhibits a drying check on one side. These types of checks (cracks) are common in air-dried Cocobolo and, because it's been fully stabilized, this check has no effect on the structural integrity of the piece. To ensure water tightness, I filled the void with cold cast copper, a mixture of atomized copper powder and an industrial epoxy that has a bit of "give" to it to allow for expansion and contraction of the wood.

For that reason, I priced this piece at $115.00US, (v. $135.00) plus $14.00 domestic shipping. (International shipping is also available with the price varying by country.) More information about this, and others in my offerings, may be found here

Thank you for your consideration.
[Image: aywLCr2.jpg]
[Image: 18C77KA.jpg][Image: AbyRtpn.jpg]

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 08-10-2014, 01:06 PM
#12
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Sharing a custom Shaving Set in nicely-figured Black Walnut. The gentleman liked the OB series brush so much that he ordered a shaving bowl based on the same motif. Knot is a 26/52 WSP Superfine while the razor is a standard Merkur with a 115mm handle. Both brush and razor handles were heavily weighted for balance. Enjoy!
[Image: UOSiFzT.jpg]

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 08-10-2014, 01:26 PM
#13
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Beautiful work, Brad.

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 08-11-2014, 04:25 AM
#14
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(08-06-2014, 07:36 AM)Rui Marques Wrote: Fantastic pieces of art, Brad.
These bowls awesome.

Do they last long enough, considering the fact that water plays an important role here.

Thank you for your kind words, Rui. You ask probably the most important question: will these wooden bowls hold up in a wet shaving environment? Or if I might put it bluntly: am I wasting my money by buying one? (Please forgive my directness, you are too polite to ask the question in that manner. But as an artisan, it's my responsibility to put myself in the new owner's shoes and ask the question in that manner--and to answer it as honestly as I can--of every piece BEFORE it leaves my studio.) So to unpack the answer...

Given reasonable care, a well-made, properly-finished wooden shaving bowl should last as long as the owner wants. So what's "reasonable care?" Common sense, really. Treat the piece as you would treat any other prized shaving implement and it should reward you with years of faithful service.

For lather bowls, rinse them out with warm water, towel off the excess then leave them to air dry. Just don't leave them standing in water for hours if you can help it.

For the lidded shaving bowls, drain out any excess water, wipe off the excess lather with a warm washcloth, towel dry, then let them air dry the rest of the way with the lid off or slightly ajar.

Now let's go back to one of our initial premises. You 'll remember that I referred to, "a well made bowl...." So what is a "well made bowl?" Very simply stated, creating a well made bowl begins with choosing woods appropriate to the bowl's intended use. But as we drill down on that statement, we quickly learn that choosing woods (we'll refer to them as "timbers" at this point) is as much art--learned from study and experience--as science. While certain wood species have reputations for standing up to water and salts like those found in shaving soaps, we learn from experience that not all examples within a given species perform equally well. So the experienced maker will spend hours "cherry-picking" his (or her) timbers, selecting only those pieces, within the chosen species, that are best suited to the intended end products.

Once the raw timber's selected, it then needs to be properly oriented, sawed into "blanks," and re-oriented before being formed into shapes that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but have the structural properties required to stand up to (in our case) the demands of the tough wet shaving environment.

Then we get to finishing.

Allow me to get slightly technical for a moment. (I'm not a chemist, mind you, so to those in audience who are, please bear with me.)

The thing is: different woods react differently to water--and more importantly, to the salts contained in shaving soap, which is the real "enemy" if I may use that term. Cocobolo, Ironwood, and some other "tropical" hardwoods contain a lot of oil naturally and are highly resistant to water--and these salts--in their natural state. (Ironwood, for example, was long used for nuclear submarine propeller shaft bearings--arguably one of the most critical subsystems in submarine construction. Read one of Tom Clancy's submarine warfare novels if you want a lesson on shaft bearings. But I digress.) The challenge is that such woods, due to their high oil content, tend to resist many finishes. Most oil finishes, which are designed to penetrate and harden, simply remain on the surface of these oily woods as a tacky film, while many surface ("film") finishes simply won't adhere; so these woods are finished using techniques and products known to react favorably with these natural oils to enhance the appearance of the wood, while adding an additional level of protection.

Tropical hardwoods, due to their inherent properties, are best suited for high-end lidded bowls which, given reasonable care, as mentioned earlier, can be expected to last for many years.

That doesn't necessarily mean that what I'll call "non-oily woods" (walnut, beech, cherry, maple, and the like) won't work in a shaving bowl. They can if the maker understands their limitations. First of all, these woods are (generally) better suited to open (non-lidded) bowls like lather bowls. They can, however, work in lidded bowls if finished properly; however if we want these woods to last in a lidded bowl as long as (say) Cocobolo or Goncalo Alves ("Tigerwood"), we should expect to refinish them (or have them refinished) every few years.

Another way to look at longevity is to consider the strengths and weaknesses of other materials used for the same purposes. A ceramic or glass bowl, while often less expensive than a high-end wooden piece, tends to be more fragile. A metal piece might become dented--or tarnish. And so on.

So what does it all mean? At the end of the day, we purchase (or make) shaving accoutrements--like almost everything else in life--to support and hopefully enhance our lifestyles. To choose wisely, we do our research, consider our preferences, understand the tradeoffs, and make our selections accordingly.

I hope this brief essay has been of some help.

Shave on!Thumbup

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 08-11-2014, 04:51 AM
#15
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(08-11-2014, 04:25 AM)BSWoodturning Wrote:
(08-06-2014, 07:36 AM)Rui Marques Wrote: Fantastic pieces of art, Brad.
These bowls awesome.

Do they last long enough, considering the fact that water plays an important role here.

Thank you for your kind words, Rui. You ask probably the most important question: will these wooden bowls hold up in a wet shaving environment? Or if I might put it bluntly: am I wasting my money by buying one? (Please forgive my directness, you are too polite to ask the question in that manner. But as an artisan, it's my responsibility to put myself in the new owner's shoes and ask the question in that manner--and to answer it as honestly as I can--of every piece BEFORE it leaves my studio.) So to unpack the answer...

Given reasonable care, a well-made, properly-finished wooden shaving bowl should last as long as the owner wants. So what's "reasonable care?" Common sense, really. Treat the piece as you would treat any other prized shaving implement and it should reward you with years of faithful service.

For lather bowls, rinse them out with warm water, towel off the excess then leave them to air dry. Just don't leave them standing in water for hours if you can help it.

For the lidded shaving bowls, drain out any excess water, wipe off the excess lather with a warm washcloth, towel dry, then let them air dry the rest of the way with the lid off or slightly ajar.

Now let's go back to one of our initial premises. You 'll remember that I referred to, "a well made bowl...." So what is a "well made bowl?" Very simply stated, creating a well made bowl begins with choosing woods appropriate to the bowl's intended use. But as we drill down on that statement, we quickly learn that choosing woods (we'll refer to them as "timbers" at this point) is as much art--learned from study and experience--as science. While certain wood species have reputations for standing up to water and salts like those found in shaving soaps, we learn from experience that not all examples within a given species perform equally well. So the experienced maker will spend hours "cherry-picking" his (or her) timbers, selecting only those pieces, within the chosen species, that are best suited to the intended end products.

Once the raw timber's selected, it then needs to be properly oriented, sawed into "blanks," and re-oriented before being formed into shapes that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but have the structural properties required to stand up to (in our case) the demands of the tough wet shaving environment.

Then we get to finishing.

Allow me to get slightly technical for a moment. (I'm not a chemist, mind you, so to those in audience who are, please bear with me.)

The thing is: different woods react differently to water--and more importantly, to the salts contained in shaving soap, which is the real "enemy" if I may use that term. Cocobolo, Ironwood, and some other "tropical" hardwoods contain a lot of oil naturally and are highly resistant to water--and these salts--in their natural state. (Ironwood, for example, was long used for nuclear submarine propeller shaft bearings--arguably one of the most critical subsystems in submarine construction. Read one of Tom Clancy's submarine warfare novels if you want a lesson on shaft bearings. But I digress.) The challenge is that such woods, due to their high oil content, tend to resist many finishes. Most oil finishes, which are designed to penetrate and harden, simply remain on the surface of these oily woods as a tacky film, while many surface ("film") finishes simply won't adhere; so these woods are finished using techniques and products known to react favorably with these natural oils to enhance the appearance of the wood, while adding an additional level of protection.

Tropical hardwoods, due to their inherent properties, are best suited for high-end lidded bowls which, given reasonable care, as mentioned earlier, can be expected to last for many years.

That doesn't necessarily mean that what I'll call "non-oily woods" (walnut, beech, cherry, maple, and the like) won't work in a shaving bowl. They can if the maker understands their limitations. First of all, these woods are (generally) better suited to open (non-lidded) bowls like lather bowls. They can, however, work in lidded bowls if finished properly; however if we want these woods to last in a lidded bowl as long as (say) Cocobolo or Goncalo Alves ("Tigerwood"), we should expect to refinish them (or have them refinished) every few years.

Another way to look at longevity is to consider the strengths and weaknesses of other materials used for the same purposes. A ceramic or glass bowl, while often less expensive than a high-end wooden piece, tends to be more fragile. A metal piece might become dented--or tarnish. And so on.

So what does it all mean? At the end of the day, we purchase (or make) shaving accoutrements--like almost everything else in life--to support and hopefully enhance our lifestyles. To choose wisely, we do our research, consider our preferences, understand the tradeoffs, and make our selections accordingly.

I hope this brief essay has been of some help.

Shave on!Thumbup

Thank you for your explanation.

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 08-11-2014, 10:08 AM
#16
  • freddy
  • Banned
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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That was both informative and interesting, Brad. Thanks.Smile

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