Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Friends of Shelter Tools - Tree Trunk Design

Exquisite turned bowl by
Ken Hatridge of Tree Trunk Design
The collection of new and gleaming tools in our store is impressive. Holding a brand-new Lie-Nielsen block plane in your hand, you see it both as a tool with great potential and as a thing of man-made beauty. But a tool is meant to be used, and some of the tools purchased at Shelter are in the hands of skilled master woodworkers who produce a variety of heirloom-quality work.

Ken Hatridge, a former timberwright at Shelter, is the talented proprietor of Tree Trunk Design, maker of fine wood-turned products. (The photos included here are examples of his work.) I contacted Ken to ask him about his process and wood turning.

Shelter: How long have you been wood turning.
Ken Hatridge: I have been turning wood consistently for about three years. Before that I had only turned a few times, but that got me very interested in learning more about it.

S: What is the process? For example, how do you select the wood or decide on the shape of the bowl?
KH: As far as wood selection goes, I use mostly material that people want to get rid of or burn. The majority of it is "green" or high moisture content. Occasionally I am able to find wood that has some kind of special grain patterns like spalting or ambrosia which is just a natural type of staining.

When it comes to deciding on a shape, I typically start with something in mind and begin, but just like in life, sometimes there are unseen obstacles that need to be overcome. They can be included or may need to be taken out of the project. This can drastically change the shape.

Tree Trunk Design display at Shelter Tools

S: If someone purchases a bowl from Shelter, can they get it personalized? Can someone special order a type of bowl or a design?
KH: If someone were to purchase one of my wood bowls from Shelter, I will gladly personalize it for a reasonable price. Should someone want a different style or wood than what they see, I am happy to take a special order.

S: How does someone who purchases one of your amazing bowls maintain it?
KH: My bowls have been treated with a food safe finish. To clean, simply wipe with warm soapy water. Do not let it soak in water. Mineral oil may be applied as needed to maintain the finish. 
Custom carved wedding bowl

S: Any final thoughts you'd like to share?
KH: Wood comes from a living thing as we all know. So even after it has been felled, sized, shaped, and dried, it still moves and changes. These bowls are no exception. They too will change shape and color over time, but this only adds to the character of each piece.

You can purchase one of Ken's bowls or special order a wood turned product from Tree Trunk Design at Shelter or by contacting us via phone (207-442-7938) or email (store@shelterinstitute.com). We'll email you photos and prices, if you'd like.

No comments:

Post a Comment