This is my 12 year old son Ollie’s first bowl, made from willow. First he split the log in half.
Next he cut a piece to length. Note stylish pink crocks.

Axing the base of the bowl flat and removing all the pith.

And planing the base flat. This is not totally necessary but it helps when judging the thickness of the base later.

With the blank turned and wedged he starts hollowing with an adze.

A good adze is a remarkable tool and quite quickly it is possible to be remarkably accurate. The adze is followed by a gouge for smoothing and refining the form.

It is important to get a nice smooth line around the edge.

Once the inside is done it is time to start axing the outer profile to match. Ollie finds the weight of the gransfors wildlife hatchet just right and he is very good at carving with it.

It is good to get rid of as much weight as possible with the axe.

Then we move on to the push knife.

This was all done on a freezing cold day and we ran out of light, then the snow came. This morning we decided to bring the bowl horse inside and do some more. Starting with refining the inside and smoothing surfaces.

The fingers wrapped around the bowl and thumb inside the gouge give great control.

Then it is back to the push knife for a bit more off the outside.

The bowl is basically functional now but we normally leave them a few days to dry and then go over them particularly getting a sweet line along the outside and top edges with a knife. I’ll try to post some pictures when it is finished. And just to show bowl carving is not just for boys, here is Jojo getting stuck in.

Author Robin Wood

Comments (7)

Comments are closed.