Bowls on parade

Tomorrow I’m at Victoria Hall in Saltaire (World Heritage Site!)

This will be my Big Christmas Show. I have sixteen carved bowls to sell, and they are all different – funny that eh?

Here’s a sneak preview:

This is a big sycamore dough trough I made.  The inside is finished on the adze.  It was partly inspired by this video (at 3m 35s).  I made this mostly with axe, adze, stock knife and just a bit of crooked knife in the bottom as it’s tricky getting adzing to run through from one side to the other, but maybe I’ll master that in due course.

Just in case you don’t remember what a stock knife is, here it is with a bowl in spalted beech that will not be there tomorrow as it’s not dry yet.

So, just tomorrow, then Strid on Sunday, logs and making a log store next week, then, thank Goodness, a rest for a couple o’weeks.

No more deer, elves, logs, trailers for a while, mmmm.

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Busy, busy, busy

OK, opened the charcoal kiln:

Not a bad burn. Made 29 5 kilo sacks of top class barbecue charcoal. Quite a few ‘brown ends’ where the wood has not quite converted, but these help start the next burn. Looks like I stopped it just at the right time as there is evidence of the charcoal starting to burn at two of the inlet ports. It was quite windy during the burn so some care was required with controlling the air inlets. Very technical involving slabs of wood and socks filled with sand.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I’ve been making a display ladder for the bowls

I borrowed the idea from Saul at Wild About Wood. His is a hurdle construction, while mine is more of a turned affair. I’m afraid I’m going to have to keep this way from visitors’ hands as they will never be able to manage handling them without dropping the bowls (from past experience!)

Just about completed the round three-legged stool

I’ll take another when it’s complete as it looks a little crooked in this one. It is true really, honest!

The ramsons are really thick now that Spring is well under way:

But still awaiting leave flush, although there are signs on the sycamores and hazels. The bluebells are just starting to flower

At least three are round my workshop.

Back from Derbyshire

Hello!

I’ve just returned from an excellent bowl-carving course run by Robin Wood in Edale, Derbyshire.

I went via Halifax which I must say, I’d forgotten contains some fine stone buildings:

The course was held in the tidy little village hall and I stayed in the YHA with a couple of other course members.

Mind you it didn’t stay tidy for long – seven people hacking away at logs carving swedish bowls for two and a half days produced quite a good number of sacks of shavings.

Robin is an inspired and inspirational teacher and I’m sure everyone had a great time, if they got as much out of it as did I. We all produced decent bowls and learnt important techniques.

I made a couple of curvy bowls, I am very pleased with the second, boat-shaped one. A little more work needed but the form is there.

An important part of the course was learning how the look at what you’re working on and what are the essential parts to concentrate on, like the main lines of the form, if you want to find out more book onto one of Robin’s courses, he also runs spoon making courses which are a little less physically demanding and a good introduction to the joys of making useful things with your hands from green wood. You can buy tools from him too,

read books and chat over tea, coffee biscuits and excellent home-made lunches served on wooden ware and eaten with wooden spoons, even the tea and coffee containers deserve close study:

I also met a bunch of very interesting people with common interests

All in all an excellent outing. Expect extravagant hand carved bowls coming to this blog soon!