My name is Len Baer, I am a central PA woodturner, and  I have been turning for approximately 13 years.  Most of the wood I use is from central PA, usually from wind or storm damaged trees.  I also use colored birch leftovers from a manufacturing company here in central PA.  I believe that a bowl made of wood should look and feel like it is made of wood.  For that reason I do not turn my bowls paper thin.  I usually leave them a little on the heavy side.  I use a low gloss finish that seals the wood without giving the surface a glossy look.

The chainsaw is often the first tool I use in creating my works of art.  I cut the corners off a log as seen in the picture.  I use a Nova lathe to turn my work.  The process of turning creates lots of shavings which I recycle and use as tan bark in our yard. 

I find working with wood very relaxing, and it is amazing how something so beautiful can be extracted from a large piece of wood.  Learning about all the different types of wood - which ones cut the smoothest and which ones  offer the most character - is another fascinating part of turning bowls.

Most wood turners design the bowl on paper before they start turning.  I usually just mount the wood and allow my creative side to emerge.  Little by little the bowl starts to take shape.  I do evaluate the wood before starting and choose which way I will mount it and the general direction I’m going with the design, but I let the wood speak to me as I work on it.  If I discover a unique feature in the grain, or a knot in the wood that I think should be part of the finished bowl, I work towards a design that will incorporate those parts.

I am a member of:
             American Association of Woodturners (AAW)

            Susquehanna Woodturners local chapter of AAW

            Pennnsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, Yellow Breeches Chapter

My bowls are pieces of art, and are not intended to be used to prepare or serve food.  They could be used for that purpose, but they will not maintain the same appearance if exposed to soapy dish water or a dish washer.