Turned Ellipsoid Bowl
Ellipsoid bowls are one of the most sought after designs by Stocksdale. Elliptical turning demands great skill. The bowl is turned using an accessory mounted to the headstock that changes the center of rotation of the piece in time with the rotation. In that way a cutting tool held in a fixed position on the tool-rest cuts an oval rather than a round path on the workpiece. In this particular piece, Stocksdale chose a very dramatic and highly figured piece of Ziricote, and to foreground the beauty of the grain and growth rings.
Bob Stocksdale was born in 1913 in Warren, Indiana. He is recognized as a pioneer of contemporary wood turning; his exquisite bowls revitalized the craft, laying a foundation for the aesthetic acceptance of lathe-turned art. He was gifted at releasing the intrinsic beauty hidden in a log or burl, and invented ways to turn serpentine and ellipsoidal shapes on the lathe. Stocksdale taught himself woodworking and lathe-turning at an early age on his father’s farm; his first lathe was powered by the motor of an old Maytag washing machine. He turned his first bowl in a camp for conscientious objectors during World War II, where he also taught woodwork to other COs. His work was included in the American exhibit of the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair and has been recognized internationally for fine design and workmanship. His many honors include the American Association of Woodturners Lifetime Achievement Award (1998) and the Masters of the Medium Award, James Renwick Alliance (2003). Bob Stocksdale received the American Craft Council’s Gold Medal in 1995. He died in 2003.
15.2 x 7.6 x 7.0 cm (6.0 x 3.0 x 2.8 in)