Look at all of that flat surface, 8 x 20 inches of it! Not a hollow in sight. So when I made this walnut serving board recently, I just had to sculpt the bottom.
If you’re short on green wood, this might be a great project that will help hone your adze skills. I started with a dry walnut board, 1 1/2 inches thick, that I had around. I penciled some guidelines on the edges, then worked cross-grain with the adze — working in toward the middle from both edges to avoid blowout. I quickly pared over that surface with some cross grain gouge work, then hand-planed the top smooth.
The recipient is fond of the pineapple motif, so I carved a series of them on each end using simple gouge chip cuts. I first realized the incredible possibilities of this technique through Peter Follansbee’s work in reproducing the furniture and carving patterns of the 17th century. Here is just one of Peter’s posts over the years incorporating the technique in a variety of ways.
Essentially, you drive a gouge straight down, then make an angled second cut somewhere behind that to remove a chip. By varying the size and sweep of the gouge, the distance between cuts, and the arrangement of the elements, all sorts of interesting shapes and patterns can be created. Effective and a lot of fun.