This is a really captivating look at how wooden objects are made in small villages across China. This video shows how residents of Shawo Village—a community with only 270 households—use foot-powered lathes to make their wooden bowls, utensils, tools, toys, and more.
It’s just fascinating to see the process of it all: from the selection of the willow tree for the wood, to the brutal shaping of it, to the careful turning to transform a single chunk of wood into multiple bowls. It’s almost beautiful.
Hundreds of years ago, almost every household of the village turned wooden bowls by foot-powered lathe. Besides bowls, they also made other wooden cooking utensils, tool-handles, small toys by other small hand-powered lathe. Today, only six elderly grandpas in the village can use the lathe. The younger generation, led by Li Xuemin who is in deep love and respect to the past, realized the important and responsibility of the inheritance and began to learn the technique from the elders.