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.
As 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.
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.