We met Blake in New Jersey in summer of 2017 at the Crawford House Craft Fair. Luckily, he and his wife live in Boca Raton during the winter, and now we carry several of his unique bowls in Mima Market. Largely self-taught, Blake draws on his home-maintenance skill to improve the bowl-making process, along with ideas and advice from experienced turners and books. Some of the fun of turning bowls is creating “jigs” that make the process safer, faster, and more accurate.
In 2007 the Jackson-Pattersons moved to a new, low-maintenance condo in the Greenbriar Falls senior complex in Tinton Falls, NJ. At a friend’s suggestion, Blake bought an inexpensive lathe that he used to make a few dowels. He later struggled to turn a large log into a small bowl and lots of sawdust. The inefficiency and danger of that effort prompted him to glue together a few pieces of wood into a crude bowl shape that was easier to carve while making less sawdust. He had re-invented the technique of “segmented” wood-turning. Roughly one in a hundred turners are “segmenters;” the other 99 start with one piece of wood. Experienced segmenter George Nazareth of New England writes on-line that a segmenter must be precise, meticulous, patient, and “a little nuts.”
AT THE STUDIO
Love is what brings artists like Blake Patterson to their studio day in and day out to hone their craft. It takes Blake 10 to 30 hours to complete one bowl.