Kevin the Bowl Maker


Kevin Rayner was born on the West Coast of Tasmania in 1942. His forebears were pioneers in the district where they were involved in harvesting minor species of timber, including Huon Pine. They were extremely resourceful people who were able to make, fix, repair and succeed with a minimum of equipment and funds. These qualities are evident in what Kevin creates today.

As a child he had plenty of timber and access to tools to fashion boats, billycarts, toys and simple furniture. Kevin was educated at the University of Tasmania and commenced teaching in 1963. After recovery from heart surgery he expanded his interest to woodturning and began producing very high quality work in saleable quantities. 

The timbers used are Huon Pine, Blackheart Sassafras, Myrtle and Blackwood with selected pieces displayed in glleries around Australia.To find high quality timber, Kevin sources specially selected logs straight from the bush. He personally supervises the cutting of the log into slabs that best suits the grain, colour and features of the timber for bowl turning. Kevin uses multiple coats of oil which are buffed between coats and then buffed after being allowed to harden for several days.

According to Kevin, "the fun starts crawling about in the log piles looking for that special log. Then in the milling, seeing the beautiful slabs coming off the saw and envisioning the bowls that will come from them. Then the green turning where all the lights and colours of the timber can be seen. The final turning and oiling gives such a sense of creation and satisfaction that you just want to do more.

"Of course there is more to it than that; a piece needs three criteria to satisfy me.It needs form, function and finish. It needs an appealing shape with aesthetically pleasing lines that sweep together with complementary curves.  The item needs to be useful and it needs to be meticulously finished. While there may be flaws or small defects in the timber, the workmanship should be perfect. When all these things come together some pieces are so beautifull I just want to keep them all."

Stall Site Number: 42