Bottoms Up


It’s time to think about bottoms.  After all, your bowl is going to spend most of it’s life resting on it, and it is an important design consideration.  You can even add some fun designs.  Folks might even smile when they look at your bottom.

I’ve done a little drawing to express some thoughts on “the bottom line.”

Sketch, The Bottom Line_NEW

I adjust these guidelines depending on the situation, but one constant is a relatively thin bottom.  The long grain on the bottom allows for this, and it can be thinner yet on small bowls.  Of course, too thin and you have a strainer, so there is no need to push it.  If I plan on carving a design of some sort on the bottom, then I leave a little extra.


The flipped-over cherry bowl in the top photo is my most recently completed bowl.  Here it is in profile.  I just posted it and another bowl to my website.  I made a short YouTube video of carving the leaf design on the bottom.  Just enough to get the idea, but really a pretty simple carving.

I didn’t film the rounding over of the outer lobes of the leaves.  It is done with just a straight carving chisel to form a convex shape.  The inner lobes are concave.


This entry was posted in bowls, cherry, layout, proportions, sketch, Uncategorized, video and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Bottoms Up

  1. Djamel Hassaine says:

    Hi David, I’m really enjoying your blog posts — there are some great tips and some beautiful carvings. Can I ask what tool did you use to carve the letters?



  2. Paul Anderson says:

    What about the wabble on the carved bark up bowls that develops after awhile? Do you leave the wabble, or allow for dry time-let the wabble happen-then flatten out the bottom again?


    • Dave Fisher says:

      Paul, I wait to flatten the bottom until the bowl has dried completely. This is usually no longer than a few weeks. To be sure, you can weigh the bowl over a period of days to see if it is continuing to lose water weight. Depending upon the width of the bottom and the grain orientation, there might not be much of a problem anyway. A bowl that is oriented bark-up will be more likely to rock on its bottom if flattened too soon.


  3. Pingback: Lettering | David Fisher, Carving Explorations

  4. I know I’m dredging up an old post here, but who is the musician on this video?


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