Artist Spotlight: Ed Vogl

Each bowl by Ed Vogl is made of hundreds of individual pieces of wood and takes over a month to create.

The Fishhook, for example, has 318 pieces of purpleheart, maple, bloodwood woods.

The Montana woodworker enlightens us on his labor of love.


The Fishhook 

Process. As with any project, it starts at the drafting table. Measurements must be exact. The lumber is selected, then ripped to rough widths. The lumber is then surfaced on four sides, cut to length and size, then sanded. Each little piece will be handled about a dozen times. These pieces will be glued into rings and clamped until dry, then back to the drum sander, sanded to a fine grit; then the rings will be stacked into their correct order before gluing them together, and then being put on the lathe for turning. This process takes about one month+ per bowl.

The wild world of wood. The woods come from all over the world. Not all wood reacts the same way, so they have to be somewhat compatible in characteristics before they are cut and glued together. The finish has to be taken into consideration — not all woods take a finish the same. Turning and sanding can be extremely difficult, especially with the denseness of wood. Tools must be extremely sharp to allow for even and clean turning. Wood expands and contracts; different climates have a different effect on wood.

‘Always at the drawing board.’ This all started out as a hobby, but now that I am retired it’s turned into a part time job! Living in Montana when it’s 30 below zero and there’s 2 feet of snow on the ground, you need to have something to do. I am always “at the drawing board.” I am always scoping out my stock to come up with something different, again — what pattern do I want and what woods to use? I have created many items that have been given as gifts, this is what I do — and sometimes a brainteaser is what I need.

View Vogl’s bowls here. To inquire about purchasing a piece, email katie@meyervogl.com.