Dave Fisher has a great blog post about creating daily bowls, the kind of bowl you would use for morning cereal or maybe a scoop or two of ice cream. While these are very basic bowls, those that he creates have a level of simple beauty that I only hope to achieve some day. His bird bowls, ale bowls, and his lettering is simply the best I’ve seen.
At this point I had finished two bark up or Swedish style bowls and was looking to take on a new experience. As Dave suggests, I laid out two bowls side by side on a single log. I let the size of the bowl be determined by the size of the log, and in this case the log allowed for a 7 inch diameter and about 4 inches high after removing the bark.
Using an adze is new to me. It is almost as fun as an axe. Something tells me once I build up a bit more confidence that it will be a neck and neck comparison. Large chunks of wood flying in the air seem to bring out the type of joy I see in younger children on a regular basis. I no longer struggle with why I’m trying to learn green woodworking, it simply makes me happy.
Once I finished the adze work on the second bowl I sawed them apart as there was a decent twist in the log. This allowed me to start truing up the base of the bowl.
At this point I used my gouges to clean up the inside of the bowl and try to make the shape consistent. I now have an idea for a template or pattern to make to use to make this easier. At the time I just rotated the bowl and took out the high points. Gouge work is fun. I set the sharp edge and then slowly lower my body while keeping my arms tight to my body. I have plenty of “body”, so the challenge is not taking away too little wood.
Then I started with the axe. I’ve seen people use an adze on the outside of a bowl. At first I couldn’t understand why. Then I realized that after you’ve removed the corners, holding the bowl becomes difficult. I was really too involved to realize this at the time, so I did what I could with the axe and started working on the outside of the bowl with a spoke shave.
With so much material left on the outside, I spent a few quality evenings with the spoke shave.
After getting the first bowl as far as I could, time to work on the second bowl.
The second bowl was a big improvement from the first. Both in shape, and time spent to remove everything that wasn’t a bowl.
With the insides free of high points and low points and no sharp edges, and the outsides fairly round, end grain still kicks my butt, it was time to wrap these bowls up in a brown paper bag and let them sit on a shelf in my basement.
I’ll cover the steps I took to finish these up in my next post.