Great satisfaction comes to me when finishing a bowl. The act of rubbing on the special finish is smoothing to the bowl and soothing to my soul. It is what I look forward to after the tedious high of turning. Rubbing the finish in tends to be relaxing.
I see the bowl upon its stand awaiting me. At times, I do not know how the finish will change the color. It is always deepened and enriched. The color can change sometimes quite a bit. I love observing the transformation as I rub in the first coat of finish and seal it. I appreciate the extra strength the finish offers even to my soft pine bowls. I feel like I am offering the final act of love and respect to the item I’ve been caring for and watching over for some time. Without the finishing touch of finish, the item cannot go out into the world to so others can see and enjoy it.
When the bowl is dry and buffed, I apply the second coat. This is less dramatic although it does cause extra changes in tone and richness. Again I rub the finish into the wood. I realize I am further sealing it which reduces porosity. This increases not only its strength but its ability to withstand moisture. This way even with humidity or dryness the bowl or platter will never need further treatment.
This unique feature reduces the dread some people feel when buying a wooden bowl. This is because they don’t want to do the upkeep of periodic retreatment, or oiling their bowl. They recall having the wood crack if they neglected to retreat it. No worry with my finished products. They never need further treatment if not abused. In other words just wash them with warm water and mild soap and dry with a soft cloth if any cleanup is necessary.
Some folks ask if my bowls are “food safe” to which I reply, “Yes.” Most people buy them to display as a piece of art rather than to function as a serving piece though. The finish I use is food safe without chemicals that can leak out into food.
I apply a third or even a fourth or more coats if needed. Finishing wood can sometimes take up to 6 coats. I have a sense of when it is finished. And when complete, I place it on the shelf for the finished bowls. I stand back and sigh with satisfaction. Another wonderful bowl is complete.