Stronger than steel

It was an interesting day at Strid.  When I was arriving at the gate to the wood, I thought I saw a heavy shower further up the valley.  Then I realised it was mist hanging over the River Wharfe it was very atmospheric:

I expected the Molly Aida to come steaming down bumping the banks like in the film Fitzcarraldo, I could almost hear the Peruvian Indians’ drums.

The river’s been rising with the recent rain and The Wharfe looks really angry when roused.  I stopped off further up to take more photos, and found this:

Yes that’s a soaking dead twig with leaves hanging by a single thread – a spider’s one no less!

The morning was OK weather-wise, but then the heavens kept on opening through the afternoon, I thought I was going to get washed away.

Now, yesterday I finished off another carved bowl.  Recently I have been struggling with the margin where the outside meets the inside.  I think I’m just about there with this one (still in progress here):

The edge really strikes the eye.  It’s easy to do the inside, and the outside is not so tricky with a draw knife and a knife.

But that margin needs a massive amount of concentration.

I’ve always been rather scared of leaving too sharp an edge on the margin because it doesn’t feel good and also is hard to finish and is very liable to damage in use.  I’ve now found a remedy.  Burnishing that arris with the back edge of the knife rounds it off ever so slightly and makes it much more serviceable:

I also found that splitting an alder log and leaving it for a week made it so much more workable, and removed the heavy orange red oxidisation effect that happens when the timber is very green.  Instead this mellowed timber has a stable pinkish colour which I’m looking forward to oiling up in a couple of weeks.

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