Like most things I make, work on shrink pots occurs in two stages — wet and dry. After the pot has dried, I go over all of the surfaces again to leave a burnished and clean surface. I’ve finished a few more “evening trees” shrink pots, this time in red maple. It is harder than the aspen I’ve used for some, but I like the sharp contrast created by the cuts in the crisp white wood. Which means I also needed to clean up the interior surfaces by slicing with a hook knife. Its a little harder now that the bottom is in making it impossible to work from both ends, but I reach down as close to the bottom as I can. I like the wavy rim, and it also provides some resting areas for various things that may lean against the inner edge.
The dimensions vary slightly, but they are around 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 inches in diameter and around 5 inches high, give or take.
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Hi Dave, Really like those pots you made. I have tried a couple but with poor results, cracking. First one I know I made the bottom to tight, so on the last one it was loose, in fact had trouble keeping it in place. Was going pretty well for a couple days when I decided to remove the bark, within hours a giant crack hollered at me. Wondering, when you remove the bark do you wait for the pot to be completely dry? I let this one air dry for a couple days, maybe got to anxious.
Hi Steve. On just about all of my pots, I’m removing the bark and a fair amount of wood from the outside as well. So I want the interior and exterior of the walls to dry at the same time. After boring and carving the cavity for the inside, I then remove the wood from the outside to finish forming the walls. Then I cut the groove, make and install the bottom, and set it aside to dry. I have made pots with the bark left on, but in general I think you’re likely to have more success if the bark is removed in the initial making process.
Sometimes, you might get a crack as the walls shrink if the bottom was super tight and/or the groove was too shallow. But in the case you described, the bottom was still loose, so there might have simply been some point of weakness, a check or something, that opened up as the piece dried. If a limb has been sitting around for a few days, make sure you cut back from the end grain a good bit to get beyond any checks. Just some possibilities. In any case — keep making them, and it will sort out.
Thanks Dave. Think you may have it with my groove being a bit to shallow and maybe a little narrow. I’ll keep this in mind for the future ones. Thanks again. I look forward to your posts to see the next thing you’re doing.