John Talbot is a local bowl maker who turns pieces of trees into beautiful, sometimes incredibly intricate bowls. He treats wood as if it were clay, shaping them so quickly and effortlessly as if they were a soft, hype-malleable material. He sands them and chisels away at them and very often has them spinning at high speeds where he whittles away at them, reshaping the material in an unbelievable way. His process is highlighted in a new video that sees him speaking about his trees, Los Angeles, his work, and how they all interact with each other.
The video sees him doing everything from claiming new wood, fresh and “still alive,” perfect for being shaped and molded into a bowl. The film is very much like the video on ceramicist Sue Paraskeva, who meticulously crafts delicate bowls in a zen like way. However, this video we hear John waxing on about the nature of his work, which feels like the first time he’s gotten to share his experiences and artistic process with anyone. He details how he used to have tantrums over defects in his bowls, which now has lead to beautiful details and strengthened faith in his craft. He likens his wood to people and that, regardless of how they turn out, that is their “perfect self,” their soul.
You can pick up John’s at the Hollywood Farmers Market.