Continuing a lifelong fascination with wood, sculpture and art, Jacques Blumer has focused his attention to lathe work turning primarily bowls and thin walled hollow forms. The natural grain and color of the wood combined with design and symmetry define each piece uniquely. He favors local woods grown in the Western United States and natural finishes.
Jacques' focus is on one-of-a-kind natural edge and finished bowls and hollow vessels. The design evolves according to grain patterns and characteristics such as cracks, voids or bark inclusions. Burls, crotch patterns, flares and other naturally occurring variations in the wood are worked into pieces to enhance their natural beauty. Each piece is artistically designed yet functional.
Many pieces are turned to final form from green logs and allowed to dry slowly to prevent checking or cracking. During the drying process the wood moves in various ways based on grain, density, orientation and thickness to create variations that enhance the concentric shapes. Selected pieces are rough turned and allowed to dry for several months or up to a year or more. These pieces are then remounted on the lathe and turned to final form resulting in a more symmetrical final shape. To enhance the natural beauty of the wood pieces are typically finished with several applications of high quality natural oils or a urethane finish when a more durable protection is appropriate. Surface treatments may also include texturing, sandblasting, carving, bleaching, staining and dyeing. All finishing products are very food safe. Hand buffing and, in some cases, the application of a hard carnauba wax gives a rich luster to the end result.
Finished pieces require very little attention. Maintaining the surface sheen usually requires only buffing with a soft cloth. A very light coat of walnut oil (found in gourmet or health food stores), mineral oil (found in drug stores) or high quality wax may be used. Remove any excess oil or wax and when dry buff gently with a soft cloth. Pieces should not be placed in direct sun or subjected to extreme heat or cold as fading and damage may occur.
Jacques shows his work through galleries in the Napa Valley, Sacramento, Fresno and Portland. His studio is located in Moraga, California. He is a member of the American Association of Woodturners and the Bay Area Woodturners Association.