The Peyoke Medicine Bowl

Here’s a project that we had in my head for quite some time and we were finally inspired to make it for the recent Nova Woodturners Woodturning Competition. We call it the ‘Peyoke Medicine Bowl’.

The Peyoke Medicine Bowl is a tribal mortar and pestle. A mortar and pestle is a tool used to crush, grind and mix, in this case, medicinal herbs and plants. The mortar, which is almost 6″ in diameter and 3″ tall, is the bowl and the pestle, which is just over 5″ long and 1 1/2″ thick at it’s widest, is the bat-shaped stick that is used for grinding and pounding the herbs and plants in the dish of the mortar, creating either a powder or paste that would be used as herbal remedies.

To aid in holding, both the mortar and pestle have been textured by burning. For the appearance of frequent use over the course of generations these areas have been hand stained to a warm, brown, contrasting with the original Maple.

Here are a few more photos of the Peyoke Medicine Bowl:

wooden mortar and pestle
wooden bowl
textured wood
wood burning
grinding herbs
Maple bowl
woodturned bowl

Although we did some burning attempts before on a few pieces, as seen here and here, this is the first time that we attempted any texturing. We really enjoyed the direction that this piece took, as well as took me. Texturing and coloring has been something that we have been wanting to try for some time, especially since last summer when we went to all those related seminars at the 2009 AAW Symposium. It’s definitely something that we will pursue.

Btw – This piece grabbed the bottom rung of the Nova Woodturners Guild 2010 Woodturning Competition, placing 3rd in the Novice class. All the more reason for pursuing… 🙂

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