Bowls from a board are made by cutting concentric rings at an angle from a board. We use a tool called a Ringmaster to cut the rings. The rings can also be cut with a bandsaw or scrollsaw. The rings are stacked and glued together to create a bowl with angled sides. If the angle on each ring is identical and the rings are thin, the bowl will be cone-shaped. By using a starter board that is composed of laminated strips, one obtains boards with more intricate patterns. After adding a bottom layer and and a top segmented ring, the bowl blank is ready for the lathe.
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.