“Fish Say…” Shrink Pot


“Fish say…” cherry shrink pot

As I was shaving down the walls of this cherry shrink pot, I couldn’t help but notice a few small tight pin knots, mostly because the swirling grain direction around them was causing me fits.  Then I thought they might be eyes — fish eyes.  And the fish now swim among words from Rupert Brooke’s poem Heaven:

Fish say, they have their Stream and Pond;

But is there anything Beyond?

The words flow around the front curve of the pot, so I’ve put a series of four images in the slide show below that show it all, including the oval sassafras bottom.

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The pot is 4 3/4 inches high and 4 1/4 inches wide.

As usual, I cut this small lettering with my penknife, which took much longer than making the pot itself.  If you’re ready to dig in yourself, the bevel on a new penknife won’t be acute enough for effective wood carving.  I took some close-up photos of mine to show how I shape the blade tip — keep it thin.  The left photo shows the back of the blade, followed by a rotation over to a side view.

This entry was posted in cherry, Lettering, quotes and excerpts, sharpening, shrink box, tools, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to “Fish Say…” Shrink Pot

  1. Scott Kinsey says:

    So would I but the Chair person says I need to Sit on it!
    Stunning, Dave!


  2. francedozois says:

    just fab–a beauty–


  3. And to think – David Wenham needs all of those carving tools. You just use a pen knife!


  4. Andrew Sistrand says:

    Dave, you’re a poet in wood!


    • Dave Fisher says:

      Thanks. It was nice to pay tribute to Rupert Brooke with my interpretation. He wrote that poem not long before dying of blood poisoning at age 28 on his way to the trenches of Gallipoli in 1915.


  5. hiscarpentry says:

    Sassafras and cherry… sounds delicious!


  6. Emil says:

    Dave can you say a few words to accompany the picture about the bevel on your pen blade? Is the bevel one flat plane/angle from the spine to the edge?

    Thank you


    • Dave Fisher says:

      The bevel is not one flat plane from the spine to the edge. The blade is so thin at the back that the resulting bevel would be far too acute. I don’t know what the angle is — as acute as I can make it without the edge failing. Easy to experiment. The steel will make a big difference. This is high carbon steel. I am experimenting with another penknife in chrome vanadium steel, and I’ll let you know what I think eventually. The junction between the bevel and the side of the blade is rounded, as is the back of the blade tip.

      There are other knives and blade styles that will work as well, I suppose. This is just what I’ve gotten used to for small lettering and fine v-incised decoration.


  7. onerubbersoul says:

    I’m a type junkie…just love your letters.


  8. Pingback: Learning from Lettering | David Fisher, Carving Explorations

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