In 1977, David Lory was one of the first two students to take part in a unique apprenticeship type class offered at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. In this class, David taught himself how to make his unusually thin wood bowls. Since that time David and Suella Lory have been working as a team to produce lovely and functional wood bowls.
The process begins with the selection of the wood. David chooses to work with woods generally found in Wisconsin, Iowa, ot Illinois. Though the various woods have their unique beauty, the most fascinating bowls are the ones made from burls. Burls are grotesque, gnarled malformations that develop occasionally on trees. Due to their rarity, burl bowls make up a small of David's work. Once David starts turning the bowl on the lathe, he must work through to completion. This takes from one to three hours, using a special tool constructed of Armyloy alloy steel, which keeps a fine edge longer than conventional tools.
Four to five coats of epoxy are applied with a small, fine brush to minimize drips and runs. Suella hand sands between coats of finish to ensure that the final finish is as smooth as possible. The final coat is rubbed with increasingly fine steel wool to create the sating finish you see in the finished bowl.