Back in the bone chilling days of January, my son and I warmed up a bit by collecting some walnut logs from a fallen tree at a friend’s house (and I posted about it here). Now, the snow is gone, the birds are singing, and I’m nearly finished with a bowl from that walnut tree.
The shot at the top of this post was taken midway through the process of carving the flutes on the interior. I’ve carved similar flutes on a few bowls now. It is a bit painstaking, and, on dry hard walnut like this, painful at times! You can see this same bowl following the green carving stage to the left. It was close to 17″ wide at that point, and now it is around 16 3/8″ (x 22″ long).
The general procedure for the fluting starts with dividers. I use them to pace off equal divisions along the lateral center line inside the bowl. Then I sketch a series of longitudinal lines until they look right. I use a shallow gouge to create a flute between the lines, leaving a raised ridge line between them. In the top photo, remnants of the drawn guidelines still remain; I continue to pare away within the flutes until the pencil lines just disappear. The nature of the hand work provides texture and slight variations along the line and within the flutes.
If it gets warm enough over the next week or two, I might be able to set the finished bowl outside and let the sunshine help the oil cure. I’ll post some pics when it’s finished.