Mulberry Rooster Bowl

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In summer, the birds and I eat the mulberries from my neighbor’s tree.  We have a deal; the birds get the high ones and I get the low ones.  The other way around proved to be far too dangerous.

A couple years ago, one of their two mulberry trees, about thirty feet tall, came down.  Much of it became firewood, but a few pieces went under the knife.

When working this wood fresh, the bold yellow color really grabs your attention.  It’s related to Osage orange, but not as heavy and hard.  Still, it’s moderately hard and a bit tricky to carve.  I roughed this bowl out not long after the tree came down and returned to it just in recent weeks.

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In the months since I had roughed it out, the surface had mellowed to a golden brown.  Fresh cuts revealed the brighter color beneath, and now the new surface of the finished bowl has already begun to develop a nice patina.

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The vise comes in handy for carving the flutes, but much of the work is done away from the bench.

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I’m often unsure how all of the elements and surfaces are going to come together, so I just take the next step that I determine has to be done for sure.  Then the next decision becomes more clear, and so on.  Eventually, I stumble upon a resolution and discover I’ve created what may be an Elvis-inspired rooster.

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The dimensions are 17″ long, 5″ wide, and 6″ high.  There’s room enough for some preliminary adze work, but, especially considering the depth and undercutting,  most of the hollowing was done with gouges and a hook knife.

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The fibers flow through this big mulberry crook down from the head and on up through the tips of the tail feathers.

This one is for sale.  $800 includes fully-insured shipping.  A little more for overseas, depending on your location.  Email at dandkfish@gmail.com if you are interested.  Thanks.  Update: SOLD

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15 Responses to Mulberry Rooster Bowl

  1. francedozois says:

    wow! what a beautiful bowl and those rays of lighter color–fabulous–

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lovely.

    I’m wanting to try my hand at this. I’d like to ask what your process is for finding stumps, or wood in general, that will end up being nice for the bowls. There seem to be stumps aplenty, but it’s not so easy to know what’s inside. I suppose a chainsaw helps, but it’s not always easy or convenient to whip out a chainsaw just anywhere. I find it challenging to identify wood at the dump, etc.
    Any tips?
    –Wm. Brown

    Like

    • Dave Fisher says:

      Glad to hear you’re ready to give it a try, William. Essentially, you’re looking for relatively freshly cut “green” wood. Wood that still has a relatively high moisture content is easier to carve and get to a thin enough stage so that it can dry evenly and move as it dries rather than crack. If the end grain of a log has deep checks and splits, it’s probably not a good choice, unless there’s enough length to cut off the ends and get back to good solid wood. There are some very good folding saws that can be carried with you to make some cuts to identify wood, etc. I’ve got more information that may be helpful to you at my website http://davidffisher.com/frequently_asked_questions. There are additional links on my website to videos and articles that should be of help. There is also a lot more information here on the blog. Try the search feature on the right side and/or the topic pulldown menu to help find information on finding wood and all sorts of topics. Best wishes as you get started.

      Like

  3. Warren Hoey says:

    Beautiful bowl Dave. I love turning mulberry when I can get hold of it. It eventually goes a ‘dark pumpkin’ colour after many years
    Warren Hoey

    Liked by 1 person

  4. maydanlex says:

    As usual, outstanding work. I look forward to each and every post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Barry Gordon says:

    Always excellent and exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bob Easton says:

    As always, gorgeous! I really like the “Elvis” flourish. 🙂

    Question: When roughing out in the green stage, Did you also rough our the flutes, or do you leave those for later?

    Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jan says:

    I found your blog through Barn the Spoon’s YouTube channel. Beautiful work. Now I am off to look at your post about carving letters!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. onerubbersoul says:

    I love the way the grain interacts with your flutes. Beautiful work. And the shot of you carving the bowl itself is a great lesson in safely carving towards you by gripping down on the handle and anchoring your arm/hand to control the length of the gouge cuts.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mike Amphlett says:

    Astonishing craft David, as ever, I’m in awe…!

    Like

  10. I LOVE this rooster bowl!

    Like

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