Reinterpreting in wood the designs of the American Indian
Synopsis: Irving Fischman wrote this article while he was immersed in the pottery and basketry of the Indians of the Americas. They used simple shapes to counterpoint intricate painted or woven patterns, which he reinterprets in wood. Here he explains how to make a bowl with a simple bell or trumpet shape and a checkered pattern of teak and black walnut. Familiarity with lathe work and a supply of clamps, both band and deep throated, are essential for this project. Multiple photos illustrate the detailed steps he describes in the article.
After turning bowls for several years, I have recently begun to explore the classic designs used since antiquity in pottery and basket making. I am now particularly interested in the pottery and basketry of the Indians of the Americas. Simple shapes—such as truncated cones or bells—are used to counterpoint intricate painted or woven patterns. I have tried to reinterpret…