Award-winning maple bowl by Winthrop man on display at Maple Run Emporium in Potsdam

handmade wood bowls Jan Close Maple Run Emporium Northeastern Woodworkers Association Showcase Tiger Maple Salad Bow



Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 11:34 am


Jan Close with his award-winning tiger maple salad bowl and blue ribbon from the Northeastern Woodworkers Association Showcase, standing in front of his collection of woodturnings at Maple Run Emporium.

POTSDAM -- Jan Close of Winthrop was awarded first place for his tiger stripe maple salad bowl at the Northeastern Woodworkers Association Showcase, held March 28 and 29 in Saratoga Springs.

His winning entry, and its blue ribbon, are on display at Maple Run Emporium, 49 Market St. in Potsdam. A collection of woodturnings by Close is available at the shop including bowls, peppermills, rolling pins, and vases.

One of the largest shows in the Northeast for wood-turners and flat-boarders (furniture makers), the annual showcase hosts hundreds of entries in a variety of categories. Close’s bowl bested a field of 60 entries in the “Turned Bowls, Platters, and Plates” category.

Close turned the bowl in about six hours from a maple log he purchased in Corning. He completed the project by using a food-safe walnut oil finish on the inside and a friction polish on the outside, creating a work of art meant to be used.

“I’ve never seen a functional salad bowl awarded a ribbon,” Close said. “Usually, the presentation bowls win – they have no function, they are just to look at.”

With the award-winning bowl in hand, Close pointed out some of the reasons his creation captured the judges’ Blue Ribbon. “All the little things were done right – the grain orientation and the wall thickness,” he explained, “But the trump was the form of the bowl – both the inner and outer curves of the bowl were recognized as outstanding.”

Close noted that it was especially gratifying to him that several professional turners complimented him on the quality of his work. “It’s affirmation from my peers when they use words like ‘excellent’ and ‘stood out’ to describe my bowl,” Close said.

Maple Run Emporium is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Info: 274-0102;;


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