Old Poplar

Bad Lands
Dinosaur Provincial Park Panorama

'Bowl' turned by Dan Johnson

I found myself looking for a term to name this piece, and ‘bowl’ did not quite fit. At once it is so natural in appearance and yet so refined in its proportions, that to place the common kitchen name of ‘bowl’ on it seems quite wrong.  And ‘vase’ doesn’t quite work either…

Dan Johnson does a lot of wood turning, with results that run from the true ‘bowl’, to the fantastic, to the down-right ‘gnarly’; however in my eyes, this piece that I have photographed above is by far the best: it is a work of an artisan. He has managed to take a lump of old poplar, riddled with tunnels of insects, and has turned it into the most exquisite form, without losing the effect that the stresses of the environment and insects had made in the wood. It also happens to be very satisfactory to hold, fitting so well into cupped palms, and the fine texture under the beeswax finish leaves a pleasing sensation when turned in the hand.

Take a look at the original “…wormy poplar deadfall…” below, and how it has been transformed…

The Block

The block of wormy poplar deadfall.

Bad Lands
Dinosaur Provincial Park Panorama
This entry was posted in Alberta, Canada, Creativity, Documentary, Nature, Photography and tagged , , , , , , .


  1. Gaylene Wetzel 13 January, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    This is a truly stunning piece! The dark base sets it off beautifully.

  2. Dan 16 June, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    The nice layout and lighting of the photograph really enhance it.

    • AdrianT. 16 June, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

      Thanks Dan. I love that piece and I wanted to do it justice. I also like the leaf accent, unfortunately, I didn’t have a dried poplar leaf to complement the wood!

3 Trackbacks

  1. By The Week on Sunday #27 | Splendour Awaits on 20 April, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    […] I am proud to know this talented man, who also does amazing things with old wood… […]

  2. By Old Poplar | Table-top Photography on 26 January, 2015 at 11:29 am

    […] Bowl on black velvet, in window light only. See the “…wormy poplar deadfall…” this came from, and how it was made at Adrian Thysse Photography. […]

  3. By The Week on Sunday 17 | Splendour Awaits on 4 March, 2015 at 11:50 am

    […] from the Last but not Least dept., go over to Splendour Awaits’  (little) brother blog and have a look at Dan Johnson’s amazing piece of work…it is art riddled with bug […]

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