Tag Archives: green wood caring

Two Wood Bowls

Wood Bowls

I finished two more bowls a while back and thought it was time to document them.

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The smaller one was made from the large piece of plum found by Amy from a tree cut down in the neighbourhood. Initially, it had a flat top but warped during the drying process. The result is quite pleasing even if it wasn’t intentional.

The second was from a very large Red Alder tree, one of many removed by the city from the steep bank above Spanish Banks Beach. The logs were placed in the firewood area on the beach where they are free for the taking. Mark and I borrowed Karen’s Volkswagen and retrieved the rather cumbersome chunk of wood, and after some effort, split it in two on the road in front of his house.

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The adze I made with Lorne during our blacksmithing stint proved invaluable in shaping this bowl. It was knife finished using my set of hook knives over a few weeks. It is coated with a mixture of beeswax, carnauba wax, and mineral oil.

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Plum-wood bowl

I just finished my first bowl today carved from a chunk of plum-wood. I based it on the shape and style of a rice bowl.

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A lot more work is involved in carving a bowl as compared with a spoon. I’m learning to do a knife finish instead of sanding, which for me has been a bit of a struggle so far. I do prefer the results, especially as it cuts down the dust levels in my shop, and really shows the beauty of the wood.

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I’m finishing a larger oval-shaped bowl from the same piece of wood and have started another with some freshly cut alder. Both are smallish, but I have plans for a large, group project with a huge section of alder I now have in my front yard.

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Wooden Spoons

Over the past couple of months I have spent many happy Tuesday nights at the Strathcona Park field-house with Artist in Residence, David Gowman, for a casual evening of spoon carving. Initially billed as a pipe-carving workshop, it has evolved into a friendly free-for-all where attendees work on projects of their choosing, loosely based on shaping wood.

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Strathcona Park Field-house

I started working on spoons after the second week, and since then have been making one just about every week. I’ve carved before, but this was the first time using green-wood, which David explained is much easier to work with, provided you keep the end-grain sealed and store it in a plastic bag to avoid rapid drying, resulting in the wood checking.

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We have collected a multitude of branches, including David’s favorite for horn-making, the Paulownia tomentosa (Empress tree), from a specimen he pollarded in the nearby Cottonwood Garden, and hazel from the same location. I’ve taken to carrying a small folding pruning saw with me in the event I come across a fallen tree. So far I have made spoons from Yellow Cedar, Paulownia, Hazel, Lilac, Apple and Alder.

Yellow Cedar spoon

Yellow Cedar spoon

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Alder spoon

David is very generous in loaning tools from his carving collection, including some hand-made hook knives. Recently, blacksmith Lorn Gray has been attending and has brought a portable gas powered forge and he and David have been walking me through the process of tool making. Pounding an anvil is great therapy, plus you get to wear a leather apron. I am working on a small adze blade as well as a hook knife. Hopefully, more ambitious wood projects to come.

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With Lorne Gray. Photo by Alexis Greenwood

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Photo by Sharon Kallis