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Why bowls.? Or pens.? (Read 571 times)
 
Ken Appelt
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Why bowls.? Or pens.?
Mar 22nd, 2020 at 4:40pm
 
In my over 50 years of turning, I have never turned a bowl (or pen, either). And have never had the desire to..
Right now I am very busy turning spheroid.   I have turned beer taps,, wine stoppers, canes, fishing poles,,,,handles for more things than I can remember,,,’whompers’,, lots of those,,,,,I know there is a fancy name for them, but that’s what the people who buy them call them.
At a nearby thrift shop there is a table with usually more than 20 bowls, all priced less then $5.  So it can’t be the money,
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Bill Neff
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Re: Why bowls.? Or pens.?
Reply #1 - Mar 23rd, 2020 at 9:30am
 
The key phrase in your question is "thrift store".  People don't go to thrift stores to buy high dollar items.  At art shows I sell quite a bit of lower cost items (less than $30) like miniature birdhouses, Christmas ornaments, seam rippers, etc.  The profit comes from a $80-$150 bowl.
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Some people are like slinkies... totally worthless but it puts a smile on your face when you push them down the stairs.
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Jeff Vanden Boogart
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Re: Why bowls.? Or pens.?
Reply #2 - Mar 23rd, 2020 at 9:36am
 
Ken, turn what you want!  For me, it's a hobby...not trying to make a living off turning, so I can turn what I enjoy  Smiley  And I do turn quite a few bowls.  That being said, I've seen bowls I wouldn't pay $1 for and others I would, and have spent way more than $5 for.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Why bowls.? Or pens.?
Reply #3 - Mar 23rd, 2020 at 9:46am
 
Jeff Vanden Boogart wrote on Mar 23rd, 2020 at 9:36am:
Ken, turn what you want!



Why chocolate, Why vanilla?

It's all a matter of personal preference.
IMO there is nothing wrong with turning a limited number of items exclusively.
Certain items are more in demand that others depending on your location. Just as styles change, wood species changes, cuisine changes, etc.
Turn what you want to, if it doesn't sell for you, try something else.
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Ken Appelt
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Re: Why bowls.? Or pens.?
Reply #4 - Mar 23rd, 2020 at 3:39pm
 
Bill, what I meant by the Thrift store reference, was that those bowls were all donated, by people who didn’t want them,,,they were handmade, and given to some one, who decided to donate it to the thrift store.

Ed, and while I’M not trying to sell my shapes,, I have over the years let people pay me for things, the canes, etc....
One ‘gift’ shop in a nearby tourist town has sold many of my balls at good prices, so I won’t need to bother with the art fair,  she will handle it..
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Ken Appelt
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Re: Why bowls.? Or pens.?
Reply #5 - Mar 23rd, 2020 at 3:40pm
 
I was just wondering because I have had people ‘surprised’ that I have never turned a bowl,,,some have even implied there might be something wrong with me.... Thumbs Up
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Ed Weber
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Re: Why bowls.? Or pens.?
Reply #6 - Mar 23rd, 2020 at 6:28pm
 
I understand, there are things that many of us have turned that others haven't ever considered.
Everyone's situation is different
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Don Stephan
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Re: Why bowls.? Or pens.?
Reply #7 - Mar 23rd, 2020 at 7:30pm
 
And it is possible that the bowls at the thrift store were examples of what I've seen called dog bowls.

But my experience is the number of people turning nice bowls as a hobby and selling them at craft shows for the equivalent of a few dollars an hour for labor makes it extremely difficult for anyone to make even a part time living from turning today.

And I worry that obviously low prices for nice bowls leads the public to have little respect for the craft of turning.
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« Last Edit: Mar 23rd, 2020 at 7:31pm by Don Stephan »  
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Ken Appelt
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Rockwell,  Delta
Re: Why bowls.? Or pens.?
Reply #8 - Mar 23rd, 2020 at 8:00pm
 
Don, good points,

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Ed Weber
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Re: Why bowls.? Or pens.?
Reply #9 - Mar 24th, 2020 at 12:15am
 
Don Stephan wrote on Mar 23rd, 2020 at 7:30pm:
And I worry that obviously low prices for nice bowls leads the public to have little respect for the craft of turning.


This has been a frequent concern but there isn't much one can do about it.
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robo_hippy
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Re: Why bowls.? Or pens.?
Reply #10 - Mar 24th, 2020 at 11:09am
 
Well, I want the things I turn to be used, not sitting on a shelf collecting dust. I took to bowls like a duck takes to water, and they get a lot of use. People come back to me years later telling me they use my bowls and plates every day. That makes me feel good. With the things you turn Ken, I expect they get used like that as well. I have only turned about 4 pens. No turning challenge in them for me. Kind of like segmented turnings, the art is more in preparing the piece to be turned than it is in the technical difficulty of getting to the finished product.

All of God's children are different, and some of us are more different than the others..... Why, yes I am!

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Arlin Eastman
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Re: Why bowls.? Or pens.?
Reply #11 - Mar 26th, 2020 at 9:10am
 
Another way to think about this is......

One person buys a bowl for $100 to say $1000 and has an appreciation of the grain and beauty of the bowl.  Years later after they die their kids get all the turned items they collected and try to sell what they can and the rest is donated to the thrift stores since they do not have the same appreciation of their Parents Art.

Sometimes it takes more then just another bowl but piercing, burning, color, and whatnot makes the difference.

Me I still like regular bowls, vases, boxes, and such since I find beauty in them and my daughter's also but will my grandkids see the same????
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Jim Selby
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Re: Why bowls.? Or pens.?
Reply #12 - Apr 1st, 2020 at 5:46pm
 
I am retired that being said, I turn what the blank or piece of wood I select wll make. I don't try to sell anything maybe give some stuff away. Past two days I have made tealight holders out of tree branches I picked up along the side of the road. Probably could not get enough selling to pay me a dollar an hour but I was happy doing it and my wife likes them. Guess that's enough.
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Al Portante
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Re: Why bowls.? Or pens.?
Reply #13 - Nov 26th, 2020 at 11:48pm
 
Ken Appelt wrote on Mar 23rd, 2020 at 3:40pm:
I was just wondering because I have had people ‘surprised’ that I have never turned a bowl,,,some have even implied there might be something wrong with me.... Thumbs Up

Well...if after 50 years of turning you've NEVER turned a single bowl.....they may have something  Tongue
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« Last Edit: Nov 26th, 2020 at 11:48pm by Al Portante »  
 
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Paulie Winston
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Re: Why bowls.? Or pens.?
Reply #14 - Dec 22nd, 2020 at 4:10pm
 
I've been woodworking for nearly 10 years and I've never turned a pen or a bowl. I think it's simply a cliche.
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