Artists prepare for Oak Bay night market

Third season of evening market featuring arts, crafts, produce and more

Woodworker Harvey Brooks turns a bowl in advance of next week’s night market.

Woodworker Harvey Brooks turns a bowl in advance of next week’s night market.

It takes a keen eye, a steady hand and a lot of practice to turn a wooden block into a skillfully crafted artisan bowl.

Wood turner Harvey Brooks is a veteran who has delicately shaped thousands of them over the past 18 years.

In his Fernwood woodworking shop, he’s busy finishing bowls for his display at the July 20 Oak Bay Village Night Market.

He finds wood turning a more artistic form of working with the material than producing flat wood products such as cutting boards.

“It’s like any art – the more you practice the better you get at it,” says Brooks, who is self-taught. I love working with wood because every piece is individual. No two pieces are the same; no two pieces will react the same; and no two pieces will look the same when they are finished. Mother Nature does such a good job (with) the variety of colours.”

Brooks learned his craft watching videos and a lot of trial and error.

Whether he’s using local Garry oak, arbutus, western maple or Pacific yew, the process is a fragile and delicate one.

There is a high failure rate for roughing bowls and many are not able to be finished. Depending on the wood, up to 40 per cent of the bowls may crack as they dry.

Brooks begins the shaping process with a block of wood, preferably still green.

“From the rough wood I use a chainsaw or band saw to get it into a roughly round shape. Then I mount it between centers on the lathe and start the shaping process with the bowl gouges.”

Roughing out the outside shape first, he checks the grain orientation and adjusts the wood so the most appealing aspect of the grain is showing. “Once you have it roughed to a pleasing appeal, the bowl is remounted and the inside is hollowed out.”

The wood then dries for at least six months, if not several years.

The wood can warp as it’s drying, so once completely dry it is turned on the lathe a second time, then sanded and finished with several coats of natural oil wax finish.

“I have been showing my bowls in the Oak Bay Market since it started,” he says. “Because I work in a one-man shop it’s rewarding to talk to people and see their appreciation for the work that I do.”

Approximately 85 other artists, performers and vendors will join Brooks at the second monthly market of the event’s third season in the Village. Opening hours are 4 to 8 p.m. and Oak Bay Avenue will be closed between Monterey Avenue and Yale Street to accommodate pedestrian traffic.

The Morris Dancers, Scottish fiddler Gavin Duncan and magician Paul Kilshaw will provide entertainment, and a fundraising barbecue will be held for Cops for Cancer donations.

Just Posted

Shaelyn Sinnott of Oak Bay Volunteer Services delivers groceries for client Irene Kenny. The organization has kept up delivery of food and medication throughout all phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy Oak Bay Volunteer Services)
Oak Bay volunteers keep critical services running

Duo drove between Oak Bay and Jubilee three days a week, twice a day during pandemic

Two volunteers work to sieve a sample of sand and ocean water through a filter, capturing any potential microplastics. (Courtesy of Ocean Diagnostics)
Victoria startup making waves in microplastics research

New products from Ocean Diagnostics will make research faster, more affordable

Island Savings kick-starts the Equipped to Heal campaign with $120,000. (Courtesy Victoria Hospitals Foundation)
Latest Victoria Hospitals Foundation campaign targets $1M for mental health

Goal is to outfit new 19-bed unit at Eric Martin Pavilion

Willows Beach in Oak Bay. (Black Press Media file photo)
Seven days of sun set to shine on Greater Victoria

Special weather statement warns of higher than usual temperatures

Chef Trevor Randle leads a June 21 online cooking featuring recipes – beef zesty lettuce wraps, blueberry strudel and blueberry spritzer. (Courtesy We Heart Local BC)
Free online cooking course explores B.C. blueberries and beef

Chef Trevor Randle calls them the province’s most flavourful foods

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Most Read