In woodturning, technique is obviously important, but design
is critical to a good piece of work. The best turners in the world
may use different tools and a variety of skills, but a common
element of their world-class turnings is strong design and close
attention to detail.
The detail, however, shouldn't be limited to what is seen
when a turned bowl is resting on a table. Invariably, admirers
of turnings will flip them over and inspect the base, which can
shape their opinion of the bowl as a whole. It may be a work of
art when it's sitting on its foot, but if its base shows neglect,
the effect is ruined.
The foot should be an integral part of the bowl a part of
the design. As with the rest of the layout, whatever you do
should look like you meant it to be there. This includes the transition
of the curvature of the bowl to the actual foot. While smooth
transition is the most common method, a more obvious and intentional
transition can be created with a groove or bead.
In addition to making the foot look like an integral part of the bowl,
you can give it the illusion of being an addition something
that cradles the bowl or appears to be a stand. Either way,
to ensure that the foot sits properly on the surface, it should
be slightly concave. You can make this curve simply functional
and almost unnoticeable, or very pronounced a specific
element of the bowl design.
A turned bowl with a pronounced foot.