After his first few days home from college for Christmas break, my son told me he wanted to carve a bowl. Being in the workshop with him was nice and reminded me of many moments in the workshop when the kids were growing up. Usually, the projects were spur-of-the-moment ideas that struck them; bows and arrows, boats, wooden swords, miniature stages for little ponies and the like.
And every so often, they’d pop in and help me with a project I was working on. Attention spans tend to be short at that age — there are so many things to explore — so I never made the shop into a detention center. Over the years, they’ve continued to investigate and discover their own interests and talents, from drawing to guitar playing. Once in awhile they pop back in to the workshop as Noah did to really carve his first bowl, a gift for his mother.
We worked with green tulip poplar, one good option for a first bowl. We stuck to a form that allowed him to get used to the feel of the tools and the response of the material rather than become overwhelmed with a really complex design. Still, the bowl has a nicely arched top and some undercutting beneath the handles. He enjoyed it and made a lovely bowl that will see lots of use in our house over the years. This tulip poplar log had a cool purple streak running through it that was a nice bonus. The bowl is 16 inches long, 7 inches wide, and 3 inches high.
The photos were taken after the bowl had dried in the open for over a week and had lost nearly half of its weight through water loss. Now Noah will have to decide if he wants to go over all of the surfaces again with fresh cuts to refine the form and leave a more burnished surface, as I do. But he really took the time to leave nice cuts during the green stage and there was really no discoloration or anything during drying, so maybe he’ll just flatten the bottom with a hand plane and oil it.
Wishing you all a 2019 filled with memorable moments in and out of the workshop.