Curly Bird

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I’m looking forward to writing about this past whirlwind weekend full of knives, wood chips, and beards.  But, meanwhile, I’ll post some photos of this bird-inspired bowl carved from Chinese chestnut.  I hope the egg might provide some sense of scale.  The overall dimensions are 13 1/4″ long, 6 3/8″ wide, and 4 1/4″ high.

IMG_4595I was both excited and concerned to see the obvious figure in the wood when I shaved off the bark.  Curl is prized for it’s beauty, but it can be a bear to cut cleanly without tear-out.

The most challenging areas for avoiding this were along the upper edges of the wings and other places where the surface followed the annual ring layers closely.  Areas in which I was cutting clearly “downhill” were no problem, as long as the tool was sharp.

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Light and shadow. All carving depends upon it.

I have carved several bird shaped bowls over the years, and it’s fun to play with design ideas.  The concept of bowls in the form of birds is an old one.  I’ve seen many photos of Scandinavian examples, including the well-known ale geese.   There are endless variations, each representing the playfulness and creative freedom within the tradition.  So, while this bird is far removed in many ways from the old ale geese, it is in the same spirit.

Here are some more photos showing some ideas I played with on this one:

From another angle.

From another angle.  Although, the “wings” don’t project out much, a sweeping gouge cut beneath helps to define them.

This view of the underside shows the carving beneath the tail and the egg-shaped bottom surface of the bowl.

This view of the underside shows the carving beneath the tail and the egg-shaped bottom surface of the bowl.

The curl.

The curl.

This view from above shows the grain orientation.

This view from above shows the grain orientation.

 

 

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3 Responses to Curly Bird

  1. Jeff Grill says:

    Very nice David, I’m enjoying your blog. I admire your work and am inspired to begin to do some carving on my turned objects. Gotta sharpen my sharpening skills! Jeff

    Like

  2. philhuber11 says:

    The look of the face carving and the overall tone of the wood reminds me of a cedar waxwing.

    Like

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