If you have never had the pleasure of watching Robin create
bowls on his foot-powered pole lathe, replicating the methods of our forebears which he has painstakingly researched, relearned and reconstructed, then this is an omission on your part which you should correct at the
The book is lavishly illustrated with excellent colour photographs, clear line art and excellent illustrations of classic works of art, iconography and previously unseen
sources. The dust jacket photograph itself almost justifies the price of the book! The material in the book is logically split so that after covering the origins of the lathe itself
(4000 years ago), the timbers used (alder being the most common for hundreds of years - see our timbers
page!), stepping through the various historical periods in succession, a look at the last years of specialist bowl
turners prior to the modern era, an overview of the creative method used to create a bowl on the pole lathe, the work is rounded off by a comprehensive section of credits, a bibliography - and a proper index.
This book should be considered essential reading for anyone with a passion for wooden objects, be that as a maker, user, student, collector or simply an admirer. It is one of those
books for which the word "definitive" is the only appropriate adjective. Hence I shall use it: I believe this book to be the definitive work on the subject of The Wooden Bowl, its origins, its
place in history, its creation and use. It some ways it is a "learned" book, yet it remains immensely lively and readable.