The Secret Sits

 

IMG_5884We dance round in a ring and suppose,

But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.

     — Robert Frost, The Secret Sits

I thought I’d share some photos of my most recent bowl, inspired by Robert Frost’s poetry. In my last post, I discussed the process of carving the bowl itself.   Through the photos below, I’ll show some of the more recent steps, as well as a few shots of the completed bowl. The wood is walnut, and the bowl is 16 inches in diameter and 2 3/8 inches high, more of a platter I guess.

After texturing the wide rim with a gouge , I drew the letters on paper to work out spacing issues, then drew them again onto the bowl with a soft pencil.

After texturing the wide rim with a gouge , I drew the letters on paper to work out spacing issues, then drew them again onto the bowl with a soft pencil.

I used a small gouge or two at times, but the bulk of the lettering was done with the pen knife blade.

I used a small gouge or two at times, but the bulk of the lettering was done with the pen knife blade.

IMG_5886

Here, the grain pattern in the hollow is visible, along with the contrast in texture between the rim and the hollow.

The underside is textured with a spiral connecting the rim and the bottom

The underside is textured with a spiral connecting the rim and the bottom

IMG_5828

The edge of the rim is slightly hollowed. As the bowl dried, natural warping left the edge a bit wavy as it proceeds around the bowl — a welcome addition to the dancing theme of the rim.

I thought the chair might provide a sense of scale.

And, to provide a sense of scale, there it sits.

Thanks for looking.  I’ve also posted it to my website.

 

 

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This entry was posted in bowls, Lettering, quotes and excerpts, Uncategorized, walnut and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to The Secret Sits

  1. B. J. Parker says:

    Wow. Just wow. Really beautiful and inspiring work.

    Like

  2. herebrooks says:

    Outstanding David!!! I’ve often wondered whether the center of a bowl turning on a lathe is actually turning. Most people say yes, I just don’t know.
    I love the fonts you use. It’s somewhere near middle earth. Is it your own?
    Keep it up!!!!
    Bill

    Like

    • Dave Fisher says:

      Bill,
      I’m not sure what you mean regarding the turning, but no part of this bowl was done on a lathe. As far as the letter style goes, I’m reluctant to call anything my own. This letter form is an adaptation of some styles I’ve seen in examples of letter carving in stone. I’m just about finished with another bowl that features lettering in a very different style.

      Like

      • I was going to ask about the font – it’s fantastic – but I see someone beat me to it. I want to try my hand at carving letters, but the fonts designed for a computer screen simply seem very inadequate for the effect I’d like to achieve. I suppose I just need to put metal to wood to work on technique and worry about getting the fonts right later. Your work is an inspiration!

        Like

      • Dave Fisher says:

        Thanks. Many letter forms don’t translate well from one medium to another. Some do. Bottom line is that it is important to consider the material and technique one will be using when thinking of letter design. In fact, many of the letter forms we see in print commonly today are a direct result of the techniques used to form them in the past. Think of carved Scandinavian runes, or scripts traditionally done with a brush, or Roman inscriptions carved in stone.

        Like

      • That’s a good point about fonts being pulled from other sources and adapted to word processors. I’ve actually read about the history of the Trajan typeface before (from Ancient Roman stone carving), so it should have been more obvious to me.

        Somewhat unrelated: I had the exact same thought as herebrooks regarding the image conjured up by your font – I was thinking about Tolkien and “Middle Earth” as well. I think you unintentionally primed us with your first picture of the finished bowl, where it says “middle”, sending our minds off in the same direction. Funny how the brain makes connections like this.

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  3. sartorius2015 says:

    The bowl is exceptional Dave and the unexpected spiral detail on the bottom is wonderful. You are an artist! Also enjoyed your recent account of meeting and working with other accomplished carvers at a workshop. Great blog. I look forward to each new post.

    Norm

    Like

  4. Simon says:

    Very, very nice!

    Like

  5. Richard says:

    Beautiful atristry, David.
    As always, you leave me inspired, enlightened, and entertained. Thank you. My regrets that I was too slow to purchase this exquisite piece.

    Richard Hicks

    Like

  6. Richard Hetrick says:

    Dave,

    Wow! What a beautiful bowl! Every time I see your newest piece, I think you’ve outdone yourself, only to be surprised again. NICE WORK!!!!

    Dick

    Like

  7. sylvaspoon says:

    I really like the spiral on the underside. That attention to detail, adding a feature like that which won’t often be seen is a fantastic touch.

    Like

  8. Bill Palmer says:

    David, my comment about the center of a spinning bowl actually turning was just a little whimsical question I ask myself. The existential center travels no distance, so can it be turning? Hmmmm!?!

    Like

  9. Pingback: A Revelation | A Riving Home

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