Bowls

What distinguishes a bowl from a cup?  Is it about proportions, with bowls wider than they are high?  Or is it about usage, where one sips from cups but spoons from bowls?  Yet in the sixteenth century most people drank from what we could consider bowls.  

Regardless, here are both cups (kuksas) and bowls, listed from most recent to oldest.

 Spalted Birch "Dave Fisher" bowl (Nov 2014)  
Blue under red milk paint, flax and beeswax finish.








Alyssa's Anniversary Bowl.

Birch, flax/beeswax 10min math, "Red" milk paint.  Sanded the rim with 220 grit to experiment with contrasting surfaces.

Mazie's Birthday "Snail" Bowl

Maple? Flax/Beeswax 10min bath, "Granny Smith Green" milk paint, no Kolerosing to the engraving.  It stacks nicely with Alyssa's Anniversary bowl.


"Dave Fisher" bowl.

Cherry, made while working with Dave Fisher in the summer of 2013.  Flax oil finish.




2013.7

My second successful porringer.  Spalted birch, I believe.  This one has handles that turn up, which was a bit of a trick.  It has a nice deep bowl, which was also new for me.  Two-tone milk paint exterior, which cracked a little when we used it for chicken soup the first time.  




2013.6

"The forgotten bowl."  So, in my attempt to copy Robin Wood's "porringer" I began this one without enough time to finish it.  I left it sitting in can of wood shavings, and it molded badly.  The mandrel was still attached, and on a whim I decided to try and finish it.  And it came out great.  Thin walls, smooth finish, and it actually has handles and a rim.  Fired in flaxseed oil and beeswax for eight hours.  The paint stayed put, though it did need to dry a bit after firing.

This is also the first bowl I have painted, using milk paint.




2013.5

Here is Hannah's bowl, replacing the cracked one below.  Spalted birch, I believe.  This one is a monster.  She wanted it that size.  It was dried slowly and then fired in linseed and beeswax.




2013.4

Here is the ill-fated fourth bowl.  Hannah wanted her own bowl, so I made one for her 8th birthday.


Dan Dustin, a spooncarver from New Hampshire, "fires" his spoons.  When speaking with him recently, he said he could put green spoons in the bath and they would not split.  With this in mind I decided to fire Hannah's green bowl to finish it off in time for her birthday.  Unfortunately, the process caused pretty significant cracks.  Still usable, but it won't hold liquids.


2013.3

Here is my third attempt.  This time a much larger bowl than earlier attempts, and with handles.  I admire the "porringer's" that Robin Wood makes, and this was my first try at that.  Somehow I forgot to include the bowl's upper rim like the one Robin Wood's shows.  Not sure how I overlooked that.  Still, I like the swoop of the handles.
Robin Wood's "Porringer"

It is a hefty bowl, especially after "fired" in linseed and beeswax.



2013.2

My second turned bowl, out of the same spalted birch as the very first bowl (see below).

When Dave Fisher saw pics of this bowl, he used a term that I was not familiar with.  He complemented me on the "ogee" of the bowl--that is, the "S" curve.

A much more even surface than the first, and I like the bulge along the rim.

Two wormholes revealed themselves by the end.  I had to plug them with epoxy.

I then used a crockpot to "fire" the bowl, warming a bath flaxseed oil and beeswax to about 260 degrees.   The bowl cooked all day, about eight hours, and by the end no bubbles were coming from the bowl and it would not float after the rocks used to weigh it down were removed.  As you can see, the wood turned very dark!  The bowl also warped a bit, which all greenwood bowls do.  The bowl is also noticeably heavy.





2013.1

By the summer of 2013 the lathe was finished, and I started turning rather than carving cups and bowls.  I decided at this point to start numbering my work.Below is my first bowl from the lathe.  Spalted birch, I believe.  Rough surface, lots of "stepping" in the cuts and thick as all get out, but it is undeniably a bowl!

I now know that "stepping" is caused when the tool approaches the surface at less than a 90degree angle.  If shallower than that, it cuts in.  Also notice the lack of a nice curve to the outer surface.  To get that curve you have to reposition the tool often, otherwise you are constantly scribing a concave sweep into the outer surface.  Convex surfaces are hard!

Here is the bowl after soaking in flaxseed oil for a few days, maybe a week.  It was not "fired" as my second bowl was.




Alyssa's second kuksa

Using the same maple that Mae's kuksa came from, I finally carved a new cup for Alyssa.  Soaked for weeks in flaxseed oil.
The handle fits very nicely between the thumb and first finger as you cup the kuksa in your palm.

coffee has left a nice patina

Mae's Kuksa

A cute little cup, carved from maple found near Wellesley High School, soaked in flaxseed oil for a week.



slight cracking along darker portion of the cup's rim.

Alyssa's Kuksa

My first attempt at a kuksa, carved from a wonderful piece of spalted beech burl from our land in New Hampshire. Unfortunately, it had rot and cracks that kept it from ever being watertight.  It also warped something serious as it dried!  But what amazing figuring.  Dried slowly in a paper bag and also in the open air for weeks. Then soaked in flaxseed oil for two weeks.  Most of the warping happened over many months following its final oiling.












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