A Bowl for Enkidu


It seems that our problem with portion control goes back at least 4700 years.  In the Epic of Gilgamesh, probably the oldest recorded story in human history, Shamhat is tasked with civilizing the wild beastly man Enkidu.  To lure him away from his animal lifestyle, she first seduces him (which, as it turns out, didn’t require much of a plan), then introduces him to bread and beer.  After getting to know Shamhat, eating some bread, and drinking seven jars of beer, he assimilates.

Who knows how big those jars were, but if Enkidu had used this diminutive bowl, he may have kept his head better.  It only holds about eight ounces, a half-pint.  A small ale bowl, or maybe an ideal wine bowl (7 3/4 inches long, 5 inches wide, 5 inches high).

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11 Responses to A Bowl for Enkidu

  1. francedozois says:

    I drool every time I see your sculptured bowls–


  2. Emil Dahl says:

    Hey Dave, how deep/high/thick piece of wood blank do you start with for a 5 inch high bowl like this one?

    What were all of the dimensions of the blank you started with? I am try to understand how big of a log I need to find for a project like this.

    Thank you



    • Dave Fisher says:

      Basically, you need a log with a diameter at least two times the height of the bowl, because the pith must be left out of the piece. So for a piece this size, a log of around 12 inches was required. I begin by hewing a cylinder, mark some reference points, then start sculpting the form. The process with these ale bowls is pretty complex — at least it seems so to me! So, much too involved for a blog post. That said, it all just comes down to removing wood until you’re left with the bowl you want. So don’t hesitate to dig in!


  3. Amy says:

    Beautiful. And the contrast with the gray stump is perfectly striking. Not sure how or why you’d care, but your brief but poignant attention to “portions” comes to my notice after a meaningful conversation with Greg tonight about such things. (In other words, cheers! And here’s to being on the same page-ish…)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. René says:

    Hey, turn it upside down, put it on the head of a (slightly larger) playmobil doll and it’ll make a great red-haired 1960’s-styled girly. 🙂


  5. Nat Cohen says:

    Wow! Dave, your work is amazing and I enjoy reading about your inspiration.


  6. Fred Rogers says:

    Dave, the bowl is unbelievable beautiful. I took a class with you in Tampa, Florida many years ago and I continue to follow your work. It gives me hope for the retirement years to stay active. You do inspire me as an artist and craftsmen. I would love to see you interviewed on American Legacy, PBS.


    • Dave Fisher says:

      Hi Fred! Yes, it was a pleasure to work with you in Tampa in the February warmth. What a great group it was. Do you mean “A Craftsman’s Legacy”? If so, I’ve enjoyed the show too. Eric Gorges does a nice job and has worked with some incredible craftspeople.


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