True hope is swift, and flies with swallow’s wings.
Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings.
— William Shakespeare, Richard III, Act V, Scene ii
I knew I had to carve that first line one day on a bird bowl, and I had been waiting for the right crook to come along; one that would allow for the deep wings and posture I had in mind. A few months ago, I came upon a young cherry tree on a hillside that was dying and rotting above chest height, but the decay hadn’t yet made it to the base of the tree. The flaring base rose out of the ground at a sharp angle before curving up toward the light.
Splitting the large crook provided two blanks.
The blank in the foreground contained the old rotten branch that had broken off. I was still able to get a nice big spoon out of it. The blank in the background was the source for the bird bowl featured in this post.
Here it is after some initial roughing with the axe and drawknife, and sporting some of my sketched guidelines. Almost done!
Of course, there was a lot of deep undercut hollowing to do; work far beyond the reach of an adze. Perfect opportunity to get to know one’s hook tools better.
As I was carving, I decided to extend the hollow along the top side of the tail. The dark heartwood ended up a bit off center along the breast, but I wasn’t going to complain after all this crook had given.
Port side lettering…
I like to see this one sitting in the window, but it’s time to fly.
The dimensions are 12 inches long, 4.75 inches wide, and 8 inches high. I’ve just posted it to my website.
As if you haven’t seen enough photos, I’ll put them all in one easy spot in the slideshow below:
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