New Bowls Taking An Old Shape

I was asked to help drop a tree and belay it to the ground without hitting homes or cars.  Success!  In return I got to keep some of the pear wood.  I like working with Callery or Bradford pear lumber.  It has great color and reminds me of working with other fruit woods.  Cherry comes to mind.  I have been trying my hand at some Swedish, “upside-down” bowl carving.  Hand carved bowls have a varied history, but I first discover Peter Folansebee carving in this vernacular. Jögge Sundqvist  and his father Wille introduced Peter to this method and through my own interpretation of their instructions I have enjoyed their methods.  I really enjoy using the round of the log to define the shape of the top of the bowls.  I started by splitting my log and began roughing out two bowls.

I lay out some lines with dividers.  Some just eyeball the line, but  it’s still a good idea to cut to your lines even in this rough stage.  You have to be careful not to let your tools redesign your work!

I go ahead and chop out as much as I can with the carving hatchet, and then move to the adze.  I have since reground this adze and cut the handle shorter to better meet the needs of working a bowl.

I used two or three different sized gouges to clean up the adze work. I then finish up with the bowl gouge which gives me the option for a smooth transition.  More bowl like and less chopped mess.

Once the inside has been defined then I go about chopping the outside.  I used a hatchet, a draw knife, and spoke shave on the outside of the bowl.

After roughing out these bowls I oiled them and set them aside for a few weeks.  After they dry a little you can make the finishing touches.  Different woods in different thicknesses in different humidity and temperature dry at different times.  When roughing out the bowls the goal is to get them as close to an even thickness so they can dry evenly.  You want them to dry slowly as well.  My bowls are food grade so I only ever use olive oil.  this batch of wood produced two finished bowls so far.  I like the birds that David Fisher carves but I have to do my own interpretation.

Once they are good and dry you can do the final cuts and chip carving
  If you enjoy this kind of carving please connect to these links to two Artists blogs who have studied these matters more closely:  David Fisher  and  Peter Follansbee

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