The photograph shows the tools Martin used in making the bowl illustrated. They are:Carving axe.
Spoon carving hook knife.
Two carving gouges.
Cleaving the Log
Once cut to length, the log is cleaved using a splitting wedge and lump hammer. The wedge is carefully positioned on the end of the log so that it would pass through the centre of the log. The wedge is then struck with the hammer splitting the log in two. Having selected the half-log to be used for the bowl, the cleft face is flattened using an axe removing about 1cm of wood from across the centre of the log. The bark of the log is also removed with the axe at this stage.
Mounting the Log on the Bench and Hollowing the Bowl
Having prepared the log it is then mounted in the bowl-carving bench. While the log may be mounted either way up, Martin prefers to do so with the flat cleft face down. This results in a natural wave edge in the final piece. The log is secured in the bench using wooden wedges.
|A rough outline of the bowl hollow is drawn onto the curved face of the log. The hollow is then formed using an adze.|
Refining the Bowl Hollow
Once the bulk of the bowl hollow has been removed with the adze, the shape is further refined using a variety of carving gouges and...
|...a long handled bowl carving knife.|
Shaping the Outside
Having formed the hollow the outside of the bowl is then roughly shaped firstly with an axe and then a push-knife. The outside of the bowl is further refined using a selection of spoke shaves.
The initial carving of the bowl is now complete. The bowl is then wrapped in hessian and kept in a cool place to dry. The bowl can only be finished once it has reached a stable weight.
The bowl illustrated had an initial weight of 650 grams. During the drying process the bowl lost 237 grams of moisture, which represents over 36% of its initial weight.
|The graph is based on the record of the bowl's weight as it dried. It shows how the rate of moisture loss declined over time. At the end of drying the bowl had a stable weight of about 413 grams. However, the weight of the bowl will continue to fluctuate in response to climatic conditions and where it is displayed.|
Once the bowl had reached a stable weight, the inside of this bowl was finished using a shallow gouge to leave a gentle tooled finish.
In contrast, the outside of the bowl was finished with a spoon carving hook knife that results in a "dimpled" texture.
The bowl was then sealed using food grade linseed (flaxseed) oil. The bowl then had to be left for about a month for the oil to cure before use.
|The Finished Bowl|