Snow bowl

Rather snowy in Strid Wood today.  Despite that I managed to keep warm hewing an 18″ bowl for a client.  (A couple of syrup tin potatoes and hotted up soup helped too.)

I’m using sycamore that is from the current felling.  It is surprisingly hard and I broke the handle of the maul (again!) splitting it out of the log.  The bowl cutting came along pretty good.  The shape is based on a seed, possibly a grain.

The figure in the wood is pleasing as well, sycamore can be quite plain sometimes.

After getting the inside about right I had a massive amount of hewing on the outside to get it shaped up.  I was having to remove clothing, but nothing too racy – left me hat on.  I think the floor must have risen about another 1/2 inch again.  Just after I’ve had a good rake out as well.

I’m leaving the front and back ends thick for now as they are taking a lot of the force of the hewing as I rest the bowl on end on the chopping block.  Still some to go.

I think so far it’s going to work out well though.  Here it is outside to kill the green cast I get under my tarp.

I’m keeping it wet as possible, I don’t look forward to working this baby dry! May pause felling tomorrow to get it finished.

Summer boat bowl

I’ve been making pairs of little carved alder wood bowls recently, but today I thought I’d have a change of wood species and bowl type.  I dug out some sycamore about 3 months felled.  Once I’d carved out the inside I took the bark off and found some really beautiful colouring from incipient rot:

It was a real pity I couldn’t get it into the bowl (so I’ve put it in my header):

But all that heavy outside stuff had to be axed away:

Turned out quite well I think, a bit heavy at the back end, but needs to tip up at the front to get that Viking ship effect:

Rides in the water quite well too:

It nearly escaped and went off down the Wharfe, which gave me an idea … (to be continued much later) … meanwhile …

Gratuitous Summer flowers:

Not forgetting the grasses (very tall!)


The year of the last major UK drought.  It’s happening again.  In Strid Wood the fern leaves are dying:

There seems to be a big reaction to the very hard winter: flashback:

And dry Spring.  Seeds seem to be setting very early,

and disease is rife:

Notice the epicormic shoot growth at the base of the diseased twig.

I think the regeneration is very heay this year, look for all the ash seedlings in this patch, I think there are may be 14:

And there are the shy little oak seedlings in ones too:

Holly too, which is good as this is understory, or shrubs, which are dreadfully absent in Strid:

Even the slash and burn sycamore is coming back from two years ago’s felling:

Ok so I’ve been making things too as well as loking at them. Some of these:

And three of these:

Oh well nearly Autumn!

Oh no! It snowed!

So what can you do in the woods when it’s all snowy?

Well you can get all that wood shifted back to the bodgery that’s been lying around since last spring for a start.

OK, no felling new wood until that’s done then.  Found some excellent large pieces of sycamore that will made great bowls.

Also went for a little stroll after lunch, before bowl making, and after log shifting, and found a rather large piece of willow tree lodged high up on Lud Island.

Remember when it was raining all the time instead of snowing?  That would be when it was washed down the Wharfe.  Now what could I use willow for?

Actually I’ve got my hands full with two chetnut stems I’ve bought from the estate.  First job will be a new garden gate for home to replace the ancient batten door my dad put up years and years ago, and which I’ve repaired at least twice.  Watch this space, it will be a green gate, and I don’t mean one that’s been painted with green wood preservative!

This weather is also good for learning how to drive safely in the snow, only, in Strid so many people walked on the partially melted snow before the temperatures became permanently sub-zero that under the snow is a glassy skating rink.  Snow chains on order

You can also look forward to Summer sun

And enjoy the scenery

And you can just about watch the Wharfe freeze over

I also sat by the woodland stove and roughed out a couple of bowls, sampan and barge.