Jan Close of Winthrop, New York, was awarded First Place for his Tiger Stripe Maple Salad Bowl at the Northeastern Woodworkers Association Showcase, held March 28 to 29 in Saratoga Springs.
One of the largest shows in the Northeast for wood-turners and flat-boarders (furniture makers), the annual Showcase hosts hundreds of entries in a variety of categories. Close’s bowl bested a field of 60 entries in the “Turned Bowls, Platters, and Plates” category.
Close turned the bowl in approximately six hours from a maple log he purchased in Corning, New York. He completed the project by using a food-safe walnut oil finish on the inside and a friction polish on the outside, creating a work of art meant to be used.
With the award winning bowl in hand, Close pointed out some of the reasons his creation captured the judges’ Blue Ribbon. “All the little things were done right – the grain orientation and the wall thickness,” he explained, “But the trump was the form of the bowl – both the inner and outer curves of the bowl were recognized as outstanding.”
Close noted that it was especially gratifying to him that several professional turners complimented him on the quality of his work. “It’s affirmation from my peers when they use words like ‘excellent’ and ‘stood out’ to describe my bowl,” Close said.
The prize-winning Tiger Stripe Maple Salad Bowl with its Blue Ribbon Award is currently on display at Maple Run Emporium in Potsdam. A collection of woodturnings by Close is available at the shop including bowls, peppermills, rolling pins, and vases.