I just finished a hen bowl in maple and left it natural except for the bit of red paint on the comb. Besides the lack of paint on the body, I made a couple other changes compared to those I’ve carved before.
The most obvious difference is the longer tail feathers. This log was long enough to allow for them, so I used it up. The finished bowl is 15 inches long, 7 inches wide, and 4 3/4 inches high. The coloration of the wood near the beak and tail occurred while the log was in storage. Begins pretty quickly in maple, and I like the effect in this case.
Here’s the blank prepared and laid out.
I hollow it out first. The adze does a bit of the work, but with such a deep and undercut hollow it gets put aside pretty quickly in favor of a bent gouge. After that, the remainder of the hollowing work is done with a spoon bent gouge and hook tools. Then I hew the outside with an axe and follow up with a spokeshave. Then it’s ready to dry before moving on.
After drying, I sketch on the ridge lines between the flutes to be carved and dig in with a gouge. Just keep it between the lines. I wrote a post about that general process here.
One last shot with the oiled hen tilted for a better view of the hollow and crest.