Most of us are familiar with the two usual orientations for bowl carving: working “upside down” into the bark side of the bowl (an innovation that Bengt Lidström was known for), and working into the flat split surface of the half log. Even with the same form laid out on the upper surface, these orientations result in completely different three-dimensional forms. By playing around with these initial surfaces, we can vary our designs in interesting ways. One variation that I’ve tried this year is what I call, for lack of a better term, a roof top bowl. Here is an example in alder.
The idea is to split the log to create an angle, rather than a flat, on the upper surface. This could be done by riving off another piece of a half-log, going for the split-into-thirds, or even splitting into quarters. For more information on riving into thirds, check out the latest newsletter from Country Workshops. (As a side note, Drew tells me that they’ve just been getting in their long-awaited orders from Hans Karlsson and Svante Djarv.— fresh tools!)
I flatten the split surfaces before layout. There is no single best angle, so go with what the log gives you and have fun exploring. The result is a bowl with an upswept rim as with an “upside down” bowl, but with a peaked center that lends itself well to certain designs.
I chose to undercut the interior of the rim, but it would be simpler to have a narrower rim with no undercut. I’ve indicated both situations with the dotted lines on the left side of the bowl cross-section in the top sketch. And, of course, the exterior tapering flutes and all that are just another option.
This example is 18 inches long, 11 inches wide, and 5 inches high.