Photo of Trent Bosch

Vessel Of Illusion

In this demo Trent talked about all the techniques he goes through in the creation of the vessel and why.  He showed the audience how he turned the outer form, hollowing the inside, carved the vessel, turned the insert as well as using wood bending techniques to get the insert in the outer vessel. 

A second part of the demo included turning a bowl from green wood. 

A third part included a platter.

He shared a lot of his wisdom on shop safety, great tools, turning efficiency and how to use your body to manipulate the tool or wood at the lathe. 

Trent first uses his body to manipulate the tool and wood in order to rough it out. 

He encourages the turner from the onset to decide which end will be the top and bottom of the vessel based on the character of the wood. He takes his time passing over the wood for a more friendly approach. It makes the turning part less bumpy,  riding the bevel to achieve a more uniform finish to minimize sanding.

The tenon is created next. Too much dust is created when cutting via the end-grain. He uses a 90 degree angle to cut down the tenon which is reduced to the same size as the chuck. 

A square shaped tenon is cut with care to create a 90 degree transitionfollowed with a spindle gouge for fine tuning a dove tail, riding the bevel. 

He starts turning the outside shape but leaves a slightlylarger tenon at the end of the vessel to support the hollowing to follow. (See diagram below)

This diagram aids in the sequequence the wood should be hollowed out in order to avoid tear-out. 

Start by measuring the total length needed to drill to the end of the line, draw the line!

Follow the steps to hollow out the vessel, he points out to keep one hand under the tool or depth control. Do not lean down and simply trust yourself. Nothing was left to the imagination when Trent used the “Visualizer” to locate the hollowing tool on the inside of the vessel – an ingenious way to keep track of the position of the scraper and wall thickness. With the help of a camera and a monitor. Trent drew around the tool as well as a “thickness-allowance” right onto the monitor. This makes cutting through the wall of the vessel less likely

Trent was now able to finish the outside and cut away the rest of the large tenon without any tear-out. 

Trent installed his carving stand onto the lathe’s tool rest and is now able to draw and cut he lines of the flower pedals to be carved. He has many pneumatic toolsto make the job very efficient. 

A saw, angle grinder, rotary grinder and electric carving tool all aided in a quick transformation to a flower shaped vessel. 

As a finish Trent often uses lacquer, wipe-on poly depending on the use or goal of the project. 

For the last step: Constructing the insert-piece:

Trent prefers to use drier wood often found in furniture construction such as Maple, Cherry and Ash. 

Orientation needs to be face-grain, turned with a tenon and rounded out. 

He measures the largest spot of the vessel opening and adds ¾” to the size. This will be the size of the turned insert piece. 

Increase the size of the opening slightlyup until the shoulder. 

Part off after achieving a 1/16thof an inch consistent wall thickness or theinsertwill not bend. 

Make a jig with a post in the middle to hold the piece with double sided tape. 

Boil the piece in water until it sinks to the bottom. Heat and moisture make it pliable. 

Bend and insert it into the vessel.

Use a balloon inside the vessel, blow it up and let the wood dry.

Later the piece can be held in place with epoxy. The mixture of epoxy should be approximately 2 parts resin to 1 part hardener. This will allow the wood to move and not crack over time.

The following day a class was held going over all aspects of the vessel and creating our own.

Trent also demonstrated the platter construction for us. 

We also had time for the bowl turning and embellishing. Trent used his electric engraver and pneumatic sander and other tools on hand to carve impressions on to the rim.

His preferred finish for bowls and platters are walnut oil or mineral oil.

It was a great and memorable experience to meet the very approachable and patient teacher, not to mention extremely informative! Spending time with a handful of great club members was also very enjoyable.

The “Carolina Mountain Turner Learning Center“ was very organized.

We arrived to a clean workshop; there were toolboxes with all lathe attachments as well as a lathe for each student and materials for turning.

Please look at Trent’s web site for the tools used in his demo.

They are: 

-Hollowing tools curved and straight 

-Hollowing tools stabilizer & with laser bar attachments

-Visualizer (camera with monitor)

-12” Depth Finder Tool

-Carving stand for your lathe

-instructional videos

Please visit Trent’s daughter’s web site. She has recently been published with an article in the AAW magazine.

instagram: @kailee_bosch_art

Several other tools used can be found on Amazon and Harbor Freight Tools. 

Amazon :

-Flex Flashlight 

-Pneumatic gun drill

-pneumatic angle grinder for sanding

-Electric carving tool

Harbor Freight: pneumatic body saw, purchase saw blades elsewhere, howeve

Feel free to trace Trent’s wire bent thickness tool and make your own: 

Seen on the left is the flexible flashlight.

Contact information for Trent Bosch is

This article authored and respectfully submitted by Christine Smith.