turned cherry wood bowl

Chippendale Pie Crust Tray

I waited a long time to make this tray. It was in the Andy Marlowe book that so impressed me. The only problem was that it required a lathe with a 16 inch swing. My first lathe was just too small. But every time I opened Marlowe’s book my eye would fall on that tray.

Many years later my oldest daughter, Sarah, gave me a much larger and finer lathe, and it had a sixteen inch swing. The turning part is easy and straight forward. However carving the pie crust design that repeats on itself was the hard part. I did that sitting at the dining room table in the Peace Palace in Lexington, Kentucky where I lived for three years before coming to Maryland where I reside today.

I can remember the discomfort in my wrists and fingers after many carving sessions. Yet the effort was well worth it. The shadows cast by the repeating motif give a most pleasing visual effect and I am sure this was intentional on the part of the 18th century designer, if indeed it was Mr. Chippendale.

It is actually a practice piece for a larger Chippendale tilt top pie crust table with a turned pedestal carved with acanthus leaves and rat claw and egg feet.

This is the finest piece in Mr. Marlowe’s book and I still dream of doing it one day. I have even built an outboard tool rest on my lathe which would take the 48 inch in diameter top. We will see. For now the practice tray is with my daughter Sarah.