I’m settling back in after teaching a bowl carving class (not ale bowls) in the Plymouth, Mass. area with Plymouth CRAFT. More about that great experience in another post before long. Meanwhile, one of the tasks on my list today is to package up this horse head ale bowl and get it on its way to a customer. This one is another personal size ale bowl, about 11 inches long and holds about 18 ounces.
I carved it before the class, but from the same species of wood that we worked in the class this weekend. Around here we call it bigtooth aspen, which is one of the poplars — in fact it’s scientific name is Populus grandidentata. By the way, what we do call poplar here is not a poplar. Anyway, it seems that this aspen is usually called popple or poplar in Massachusetts. Regardless if I have that all right or not, it is a white-yellow wood with undramatic grain that is nice to carve. Some of the students asked about painting possibilities and one of the options we discussed was artist’s oils.
For this bowl I thinned artist’s oils with flax oil to create a consistency somewhere between a stain and a paint. The blue-grey color is a mix of a few shades, while the top is titanium white (which is non-toxic if you were wondering.) After it had dried I did the chip carving. Then I treated the whole bowl, inside and out, with flax oil, followed by a mix of flax oil and beeswax. The rubbing and buffing afterwards results, in sharply raised areas, in the subtlest rub-through of the paint, which I liked in this case.
Just one of many options for the twelve new bowls that were carved this past weekend.