The Return of the Swallows


This little guy was in the pear tree yesterday morning.  I hadn’t made any in awhile, which is a shame because they are a lot of fun to make.  I based the design on the swallow and their graceful curves in body and in flight.  I sometimes lay in the yard in the evening and watch the show above as they loop and dive for supper.  The neighbors don’t call 911… anymore.

IMG_3241As I was carving this one, I was thinking about how similar it is to spoon carving.  For those who have done some spoon carving, it will be a natural transition to carve little sculptural bowls like these — sort of a gateway drug.  Just think of the tail as the spoon handle and stick a bird head in the front.  Unlike a typical spoon bowl, the hollow is deepest in the front, even a bit undercut.

I prefer to carve these from branch crooks.  This one is from a cherry crook, and the grain goes straight along the thin tail, down through the body, then rises up toward the beak.  It’s an engaging challenge for working with contour, line, and grain direction.


At the end of the green-stage of carving.

Size can vary greatly depending on the branch, but little one’s like these (8 1/2″ x 2 1/2″) don’t require any tools beyond a spoon carving kit of axe, knife, and hook knife.

This one has flown away, but others are sure to show up.


This entry was posted in bird bowls, bowls, carving, cherry, patterns, spoons, tools, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The Return of the Swallows

  1. Tom Stedner says:

    That is awesome. I’ll have to take a walk in the woods this weekend looking for that perfect crook. A couple of weeks ago while hiking I came across several clumps of wild American Hazel nut that showed some possibility for future spoons. I’ll have to go back and look again to see if there are any spoon-bowl possibility’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. treenworks says:

    Thanks for a timely post. I just took down a weeping cherry and have quite a few crooks to work with. Maybe at least a few won’t end up as ladles.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. francedozois says:

    so happy with mine–


  4. Tone says:

    Shouldn’t it be a partridge in the pear tree? 😉 Beautiful, graceful bowl – hadn’t thought of the similarity to a spoon but now that you have mentioned it, it clearly is. What a spoon though!


  5. Emil says:

    I really like the swallow bowl Dave. The more I look at them the more I think they are my favorite. I am very happy that they also serve as a gateway into bowls from spoon carving. Terrific design!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jed Dillard says:

    Does indeed look like a gateway to bowls for a spoon carver. Thanks for your inspiration, again!


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