It is difficult to choose an ornamental bowl to use as an example. There are so many to choose from, different shapes, sizes, woods. See the sliding sidebar for more examples. Also my blog on ornamental bowls.
Heart shaped Bowls.
I first made some heart shaped bowls for a local gallery for Valentine’s day feeling that it is a quiet time of year and it would be good to offer something different. Within a couple of days the gallery had phoned asking for more. Can be for trinkets. On the other hand they are ideal for nibbles, deeper ones for eating from and they are, of course, ornamental too.
I have a large stock of old coins so I can make a special bowl for a special occasion such as a birthday or wedding anniversary. A heart shaped bowl with a coin makes a wonderful wedding anniversary gift. I have written more about these bowls here.
Plenty of the bowls and plates I make are suitable for food use. Cawl bowls (a special Welsh soup), salad bowls, fruit bowls (though many of the ornamental bowls make ideal fruit bowls), bowls for nibbles and starters – there is no end to uses for functional wooden bowls. I used them for decades before I started turning myself. Wooden bowls are also ideal for young children as they don’t easily break.
Tea light holders.
The round ones are very tactile – they just have to be stroked and handled and show off the wood (and can be used as paperweights! – though how often do we need paperweights in this electronic age?).
The other style are what I think of as volcanos. These have the natural edge at the base. They show the growth rings, so the age of the branch. I like the way the rings go down the slope with all the different woods but they are particularly striking when made of Laburnum or Yew as the sapwood is a lighter colour than the heartwood which gives a lovely contrast.
These bud vases are mainly turned from branch wood so I can get the sapwood round the outside and sometimes as you can see from the ones on the right I will even leave the natural edge. The beautiful Burr Elm ones are from a larger piece of wood. The bud vases have an insert so they are 100% waterproof for a single rose or a little bunch of flowers. They are, of course, also lovely with dried flowers.
As well as the bud vases mentioned above I also turn larger vases with glass inserts so they are 100% waterproof for holding a bunch of flowers. I do also turn some vases without the inserts.