Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Florence-based Van Owens will bring his Dough Bowls by Van to the Flowertown Festival for the first time this year.
Now, the true Southerners out there will know that “dough bowl” refers not to the substance that forms the bowl but to its purpose.
Fifty years ago, Owens said, everyone kneaded dough for biscuits in wooden bowls. He still has one in his pantry to do just that.
Most people who buy his bowls, though, intend to use them for decoration or as serving dishes.
Owens started his bowl business as a sideline. He used to make furniture, and when he delivered a table he would make a decorative bowl as a little extra to go along with it.
The bowls were a hit.
“I found out I was selling the wrong stuff,” he said.
So he transitioned to bowls about eight years ago, selling them at craft shows.
He makes them from red maple, pecan, cherry and black maple using a chain saw.
The process is time intensive. From the time he gets a log until he has an actual bowl can be six to nine months because of the drying time required between each step.
He has probably 100 bowls in his shop in various phases of the drying process, he said.
Owens uses food coloring to stain the bowls, so all his bowls are food-safe. However, he said, the ones with finishes cannot be used with hot food.
Owens makes bowls of a variety of shapes and sizes, and he said people use them for everything from displaying fruit to pig and barbeque trays.
For more information, go to his website at www.doughbowlsbyvan.com.