wooden bowl carving, Ollie’s first bowl

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.

7 Responses to wooden bowl carving, Ollie’s first bowl

  1. Jude December 28, 2009 at 8:56 am #

    Reading this post, I'm just itching to have a go.. is this wood fresh or seasoned??

  2. Nicola December 29, 2009 at 1:30 am #

    Glad to see talent is a family trait 🙂

  3. Joel T December 29, 2009 at 2:58 pm #

    Robin, I've been popping in now and then here, It's time I said Hi… Love what your doing there in the UK to keep the "hand made life" alive. I have two boys 8-11 here in the US and thought about getting them started in a true craft.Thank you, for your inspiring posts and tool suggestions. Happy New Year! Joel

  4. Robin Wood December 29, 2009 at 10:30 pm #

    Thanks for the comments, I do sometimes wonder who is reading this stuff and if it is of use to anyone so glad to hear from anyone that enjoys it or finds it helpful.The wood is fresh Jude, it carves much easier that way.

  5. Tim January 22, 2010 at 10:22 pm #

    Mw wife bought me a Svante Djarv adze for Christmas (I gave some large hints!). I have been searching the web for inspiration and ideas for a simple bowl carving bench. Your bench here looks just right. Many thanks!

  6. Andy Bee November 10, 2015 at 5:32 pm #

    Hi, I just wondered, what adzes do you recommend?

    • Robin Wood January 19, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

      Karlsson or Westerman