Vortex bowls are made by laminating thin strips of different  colored woods together to get a block that is twice as long as the desired bowl, but half as tall, and roughly 1.5-2″ thick.  This block is then cut into two half blocks that when placed side to side are slightly longer and wider than the diameter of the final bowl.  Each of these blocks is then cut into thin slabs (<3/16″ thick) at right angles to the original strips of different colored wood.  After they have been sanded with a drum sander, the two halves are glued together to obtain 5-6 layers of multi-colored strips. The sheets are cut into circles (rough bowl diameter) and laminated together, rotating each sheet with respect to the previous sheet.  At this point you end up with a multicolored board that is slightly larger than the final bowl diameter and about 3/4″ thick.  After drawing concentric circles, you cut these out with a scroll saw on an angled table, to obtain a set of rings that can be stacked and glued together to obtain the general shape of the final bowl. After adding a bottom layer and and a top segmented ring, the bowl blank is ready for the lathe.

Vortex Bowl #1 viewed from the side. The bowl is made of maple, wenge, orange agate, yellowheart, bloodwood, purpleheart and East Indian Rosewood. (10.5″ diameter x 6.5″ high, $300)

Vortex Bowl #1 viewed from the top