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Friedemann Bühler

Friedemann’s work is so baffling when you see it in person, that you immediately want to know how he made it. His wooden bowls are extremely light and delicate – they’re unnaturally thin. They are clearly a single piece of wood – a section of a tree’s trunk. But how did he make it so thin and light? Given the scale, I wood assume they were heavy, but they’re light as can be. The only comparison I can think of is the granite bowls and jars of ancient Egypt – also remarkably light and thin – although a very different material. And beautiful. Just gorgeous. Did I mention that part? Friedemann’s wooden bowls are truly exquisite.

Country
Germany
Discipline
Wood Working

Friedemann Bühler was born in Stuttgart in 1966 and has been working with wood since 1996. He opened his studio in Langenburg in 2002.

Friedemann crafts sculptural vessels and bowls. His turning technique is complex and time-consuming, resulting in stunning one-of-a-kind pieces.

He selects his wood very carefully, preferring wood from the forests of Hohenlohe, a small region in the northern part of Baden-Württemberg. His pieces are usually made of oak and ash.

After selecting the felled trees, Friedemann immediately goes to work in the forest using a chain saw to form blanks. The rest of the work is done in the studio where he turns rough bowls from the blanks and then soaks them in large water containers.

Once the wood is completely saturated with water, he turns the bowls again while they are still wet. Then the waiting begins. The bowls are allowed to dry and shrink very slowly, protected from direct light and temperature changes, they find their final shape.

It can take years before these turnings are completed.

Friedemann uses gouges, chisels and hooks. Sometimes he develops or modifies special tools himself.

Inspiration comes from other cultures and epochs as well as contemporary ceramics, which provide Friedemann with invaluable impulses that all flow into his work.

All of Friedemann’s work has a simple, but perfect flowing line and the surfaces are either smooth and finely sanded or rough and brushed. To achieve a wide range of surfaces, he uses various techniques such as texturizing, brushing, bleaching, staining, varnishing and oiling.

Friedemann’s combination of craftsmanship and artistry bring out the unique beauty of the wood and result in pieces of timeless elegance, not only pleasing to the eye, but also to the touch.