Our Red (Silky) Oak from the wet forests of northeastern Australia yields beautiful timber ... much underrated in my opinion. During the last couple hundred years of occupation of the wet tropics, Red Oak has mostly gone into flooring and wall cladding. There has been very little market for it as a fine furniture or object timber ... and, in fact, when it has found its way into joinery, it has mostly gotten lumped under the generic classification of Silky Oak or Northern Silky Oak (Cardwellia).

Two shallow bowl forms in Red Silky Oak by bob gilmour, Australia

I obtained a thick slab section of Red Oak not that long ago from a mate. At first both of us assumed it was the more common Northern (Cardwellia) Silky Oak but when I ground the weathered surface off, the darker colour and prominent "fish scale" figuring of Red Oak was apparent. The piece of wood was large enough to yield about four or five medium sized bowl forms so I decided to go that way.

Bowls in Red Silky Oak by bob gilmour, Australia

These two forms are the final pieces to come from this piece of raw material. I already made and shipped a couple to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. These current two will be available to my own clients and collectors.

The dimensions of the two bowls are 37 x 22 x 6.5 cms and 34 x 22 x 6 cms.


A call came in a few weeks ago to submit images for consideration by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet for a significant gift purchase. The request was for a large display piece in wood … but I didn't have anything finished … or close enough to finished that I could even capture representative photos.

Large bowl form in epoxy resin by bob gilmour, Australia

As an alternative, I submitted images of this large epoxy resin bowl in stormy grey tones. This piece is the first product of a series of resin bowl forms which are designed as functional salad bowls … but, for this purpose I would take the finish up to "fine" status if it is selected.

Large epoxy resin bowl by bob gilmour, Australia

The salad bowl series is yet to go into production and I have already modified the form slightly … adding more depth to the foot region which ultimately gives the piece a little more height, slightly smaller base footprint and overall a more elegant appearance. As a result, this original grey piece is now a unique one-off.

Epoxy resin bowl by bob gilmour, Australia

The dimensions of this bowl are 39 x 33 x 11 cms.

Related post :: Out of the Mold - Large Salad Bowl 'Work in Progress'


A customer contacted me recently via my Etsy store ... GilmourDesign @ Etsy ... enquiring about left-handed utensils and, in particular, a customised version of a slim stirrer that she already had in her kitchen. So, I said "no Problem" and produced one of my Flat Spats in a slimmed down form ... which I'm really happy with. In fact, I might make one for my own kitchen.

Left-handed kitchen cooking utensils stirrers by bob gilmour, Australia

She also decided to order a few more of my existing designs ... for a complete kicthen cooking utensil makeover ... all in left-handed configuration. I decided to make the whole batch to order in Jarrah, a beautiful deep red coloured Australian Eucalypt hardwood.

Please check out ... and LIKE ... my Facebook Page at Gilmour Design


One of my regular customers from Forest Treasures recently ordered a set of custom cooking utensils to give as a wedding gift to a good friend ... lucky newly-weds.

Hand-made kitchen cooking utensils stirrers by bob gilmour, Australia

The order consisted of two Paddle Stirrers and a Traditional Spatula. They are finished and about to get packed and shipped.

The woods chosen for the new kitchen utensils were Jarrah for the Spatula and figured Forest Redgum for the Paddle Stirrers.


Another kitchen implement finished recently as a special order from a regular customer was this cooking fork tool. The customer's wife had used something similar whilst on holiday overseas and he sent me a picture and asked if I could make something along the same line ... putting my own personal slant on it, of course.

Here's the result ... finished and shipped.

Hand-made cooking fork stirrer kitchen implement by bob gilmour, Australia

I made a quick prototype which seemed to work pretty well, although then made a few alterations for the final product. The wood chosen was Jarrah, a fine furniture hardwood from Western Australia.

Hand-made cooking fork stirrer kitchen implement by bob gilmour, Australia


Wavey Bowl Form in Australian Red Cedar

This medium size bowl form in Australian Red Cedar is the newest piece to grace the finishing benches at Gilmour Design. The form was extracted from a wedge-shaped 'roundback' of Red Cedar making full use of the robust grain structure to influence the final flowing wavelike form.

Sculptural Bowl Form in Australian Red Cedar by Bob Gilmour Wave-like sculptural Bowl Form in Australian Red Cedar by Bob Gilmour

Dimensions :: 56cm x 30cm x 10cm (22” x 12” x 4”).


work in progress - bowl form in queensland bloodwood by bob gilmour, australia

Some years ago a friend asked if I'd like some pieces of North Queensland Bloodwood and, if so, to bring my trailer around to an industrial block near Port Douglas (North Queensland, Australia) on which he'd just cleared a lot of weeds and low shrubs ... and one large tree. I said 'yes' ... turned up ... and was confronted by about 3 tons of 2 meter long trunk quarter sections. Over the years, much of the wood unfortunately went towards making vegetable garden borders, however I did manage to put a couple pieces toward creation of artforms ... including this one.

work in progress - organic shape bowl form in queensland bloodwood by bob gilmour, australia

Australian Bloodwood typically has large inclusions of liquid or semi-liquid sap or resin dispersed throughout the material and this tree was no exception. Sometimes this looks great in a natural finished state although for the most part, the sap veins need to be removed and either cleaned out as perforations ... or filled and the piece finished in some other way. This is the moment when I take the opportunity to load up my various spray guns with colour and spray away.

work in progress - organic shape bowl form in salvaged queensland bloodwood

In this series of pictures, the bowl is depicted after it's main shaping is completed and the rough form has received it's first coat of epoxy resin to tie everything together. As much of the resin veining has been scraped out and fills of cyanoacrylate and wood dust have been forced into all of the voids prior to epoxying.

The immediate next stages include successive sanding through the coarser grits and re-fills of any voids which open up. A further penetrating epoxy coat will then be applied prior to the mid-range sanding grits.

work in progress - bowl form in salvaged queensland bloodwood

Dimensions :: 38cm x 33cm x 10cm (15” x 13” x 4”).


I recently received the official Australia Coat of Arms .eps file for the work I provide to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. In cases where it's practical for me to provide presentation boxing ... like pens ... the ultimate finishing touch is to laser engrave the official Commonwealth seal on the display box.

After some experimenting with laser power and feed rate, the first set of test prints were successfully conducted last night on sample wood blocks.

Test laser engrave of official Australia Coat of Arms on sample wood block Australia Coat of Arms - sample laser engraving Australia Coat of Arms - sample laser engraving


work in progress - bowl form in queensland red mahogany burl by bob gilmour, australia

Seven or 8 years ago, I purchased a number of burls cut from cleared timber by a salvage contractor in Julatten, Far North Queensland, Australia. The burls ranged in size from small'ish to quite large. This work in progress piece is emerging from one of the smaller burls from a Red Mahogany (Eucalyptus pellita) tree. I was drawn to this one by it's complete natural edge and lack of fire damage. The solidity and very nice perforations were also a drawcard.

work in progress - fine bowl form taking shape in queensland red mahogany burl by bob gilmour, australia

Red Mahogany here in far North Queensland is also known as Red Stringybark ... and one of the dominant features of the wood, other than it's deep rich red colour, is the usual inclusion of large amounts of sap/resin veins. In burled timber of this species, the resin veining creates voids in the wood which in turn result in perforations through the wall of any vessel form created from it. These voids and resin inclusions create a large amount of interest in burl forms.

work in progress - organic freeform bowl in red mahogany burl

The accompanying pictures show the work immediately following the first major coarse sanding stage. At this point, the resin voids have all been mostly cleared of loose resin and stabilised with cyanoacrylate. The form is ready for the next several sanding stages through to the medium abrasive grits. Along the way, any resin voids that need some extra stabilising work will be attended to and the whole piece will get an all-over coat of penetrating epoxy about halfway through it's sanding process to "tie everything together". The eventual finish treatment will be a rag-burnished gallery standard penetrating clear oil finish.

work in progress - freeform bowl in red mahogany burl

The rough form of this bowl form has been sitting in my temperature controlled heated drier for about 5 years. I thought it was about time it came out to receive it's finishing process and go out and find it's life home.

work in progress - freeform bowl in red mahogany burl

Dimensions :: 27cm x 21cm x 9cm (10.6” x 8.3” x 3.5”).


New Etsy shop for Gilmour Design - makeover from Forest Treasures

Gilmour Design has just re-opened Etsy shop Forest Treasures under it's new identity. The shop-front features a fresh new look reflecting a move to bring retail sales into Gilmour Design.

Whilst the shop is still being stocked up, it will carry the full range of Bob Gilmour utensils, salad servers and other home-wares ... as well as bowls, honey drippers, and some resin works.

Gilmour Design on Etsy can be found at gilmourdesign.etsy.com .


finished - fine bowl in figured darwin woollybutt by bob gilmour, australia

It's been a pretty full-on week ... got 2 burl bowl forms ready for consideration by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, made and laser-engraved 25 utensils for a commission order which has since been extended to 43, made an extra 8 utensils to cover 2 online orders and packed and shipped 3 online orders from last week .. oh, and did about a half acre of mowing. As well as that, I managed to do the final shaping and finishing on this piece which had been sitting rough-shaped in my heated drying cabinet for over a year.

This is a fine bowl form in highly figured Darwin Woollybutt (Eucalyptus chartaboma - eastern variety). The wood is part of a salvage lot I picked up several years ago in Mount Molloy, Far North Queensland, Australia. There's a story about that salvage here.

finished - fine bowl in highly figured darwin woollybutt gum by bob gilmour, australia

The wood was much lighter in colour than I imagined it would be and has some pretty extreme figuring. Household lighting brings out quite a bit of yellow that's not immediately apparent out in daylight. As with most eucalypts, the various pieces that I brought back have their share of defects ... quite a few lyctids in the sap as the tree had been dying for some years before it finally fell over. I knew the tree quite well .. it was growing in a friend's backyard and had been there since the previous owners planted it 60 odd years ago as a shade tree for the chooks. I picked up about 2 ton or thereabouts ... and have most of it still to work with.

finished - fine freeform bowl form by bob gilmour, australia

This bowl is what I consider medium sized in my scheme of things.

Dimensions :: 46cm x 24cm x 10cm (19” x 9.5” x 4”).