Mark Lindquist: Dowel Bowl


Mark Lindquist, Dowel Bowl, Hardwood Dowels, Glue, 5 1/2" H x 36" D, 2011
Copyright ? 2011 Lindquist Studios - All Rights Reserved



History behind the Dowel Bowl

At the MacDowell Artist?s Colony in 1980, I experimented with form and texture on a grand scale, stacking 40 cords of firewood into large cylindrical forms whose surface was defined by the placement of the pieces.


Through this piece and my photographic studies of it, I became fully committed to texture as equal in importance to form.

Mark Lindquist, Centroid Series  Bowl, Maple,  6" H x 7" D, 1980

Back in my studio, I began using the turning tool "incorrectly," interacting with the structure of the wood instead of the traditional woodworking practice of obscuring the natural structure, trapping it inside an unnaturally smooth and opaque surface.  At MacDowell, I had used many pieces of wood to create large forms whose surface had depth and texture; now I focused on tapping into the depth and texture of the surface of a single piece of wood. In creating these pieces, the tool was as important as the material.   I used chainsaws, routers, and other power tools with my lathe to create textures and patterns--patterns that would not have existed without the action of that specific tool.  The first major piece I created using this technique was made from a piece of wood given to me by the MacDowell Colony.

Mark Lindquist, The MacDowell Bowl, Spalted Elm,  24" H x 32" D, 1980

As I applied my new techniques to the inside of the bowl form, I found that the interior of a bowl could be larger than the exterior.   When you view the entire bowl, you can see its relationship to the space it exists in--it is a bowl--it's smaller than you are.


But when you focus on the interior, you are removed from the environment--the way you are when you look at a painting. A painting can encompass a small space, like a single flower, or a space as large as a mountain range.  When I look deep into the bowl, its connection to actuality is broken, and the space expands--I might be looking at a canyon wall.

Sometimes, the orientation of up and down reverses, and I am looking into a soaring dome.

Mark Lindquist, MONTICELLO BOWL, Tulip Poplar from Monticello, 12" H x 12" D, 2009

To create these works, I used machines and tools on the scale of an operating room or a recording studio.

Mark Lindquist with his patternmaker's lathe and his robot ASTRO (assigned specific task robotic operative [extreme right], designed and built by Mark Lindquist).

The idea of making a work of art using only one tool, which is the theme of this show, (The Tool at Hand), presented a unique challenge for me, eventually drawing me back to my experience at the MacDowell Colony.
I had used no tools in the creation of that work, simply picking up pieces of wood and stacking them.

I decided to create a bowl by stacking dowels.


Dowel Bowl Details

I would need just one tool--an applicator for glue....


  See How Dowell Bowl Ships Mark Lindquist 2011


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Photos: Mark Lindquist -  Lindquist Studios 2009



Dowel Bowl by Mark Lindquist at:

The Tool at Hand
Ethan Lasser, Curator,
Chipstone Foundation
The Milwaukee Museum of Art

(click photo to link to Milwaukee Museum of Art)




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