Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Why it took me years, I will never know...

Finally finished a carved bowl, a la Dave Fisher, several years after instruction from him.  It took me that long to build one of Dave's bowl horses and a carving bench to really secure the work.  Here is the bench:

Once the log was cleaned up and the form laid out with dividers and string, I set about excavating.  

And twenty minutes later, the basic bowl interior is done.  I should have taken more time to refine this shape while the bulk of the log was still on there, but I could not wait to get to axing (and I was worried that all that wood would start to check if I did not bring the bulk down a bit.)  Here is the rough form with some of the axing finished.

And after much refining, going back and forth from outside to inside, from the bench to the horse, from drawknife to gouge, I finally finished it.  I definitely need to streamline my order of operations.  Lots of inefficiency in this process.  Also, it is amazing how hard it was to make this without Dave looking over my shoulder.  Despite detailed notes on the process, I made many of the mistakes that he warned me about.  Sometimes it takes doing to really see how something is done.

And so, here it is--spalted bich, red over blue milk paint on the underside, flax and beeswax finish:

 Thanks for everything, Dave!


  1. very nice bowl Eric , i need me one of them bench's!

    1. Thanks Dylan. It was hard sourcing the wood. I did eventually find rock maple, 10" wide, 2.5" thick, so it is solid. I like sitting on the bench and really getting my weight behind the gouge. Feels like a good posture. If I had to do it differently, I would extend the various holes (for 3/4" dogs down the middle, and a larger diameter for pegs to push against) all the way down the bench. I might also wait for a wider (12"?) board.

  2. Great looking bowl, Eric. There's something about birch that makes a great match for a painted surface. I love the color. Truly outstanding job.

    Dave Fisher