Mountain Ash Tray 6. Shou Sugi Ban
Each wooden bowl has been created from green piece of a natural half log. This traditional method preserves the natural form and curves of nature in the final bowl or plate. The process starts with choosing a good piece of wood from the log, splitting it in half and choosing the part without the heart to avoid cracks. Then the bark is removed and the bowl is roughly shaped with an axe, then final shaping with a hand plane. Then planing the top and the bottom sides with a hand plane to get a flat surface where the lines of inner form of the bowl are drawn. Next process is rough carving with larger gouges and then final carving leaving the gouge marks on the finished bowl, all the while adjusting the thickness of the sides of the bowl by touch, and leaving the thickness balanced between the inside and outside of the bowl. Once the final carving is done it is time for smoothing the edges with a scraper and steel wool. All the money from the sales of these bowls will be your investment/donation to Richard's (green woodworking artisan's) aim to maintain expand traditional woodworking and wood crafts museum, where he teaches those traditional skills and history to the next generations, keeping alive those crafts.
The wood of this bowl is preserved and treated in an unique way using old Japanese traditional wood preservation technique Shou Sugi Ban (焼杉板). First the wood is being burned and then Richard applies his special mixture to seal the wood. The bowl won't smear and leave black stains.