Each life converges to some centre
Expressed or still;
Exists in every human nature
A goal,

Admitted scarcely to itself, it may be,
Too fair
For credibility’s temerity
To dare.

— Emily Dickinson, from Each Life Converges to some Centre

Whether the flutes of this walnut bowl radiate outward or converge inward may depend upon your point-of-view or mood, but from the perspective of a carving gouge, they converge.  To work into supported fibers, the cutting edge begins at the rim of the bowl and sweeps downward to the center.  I carved the same design not long ago in cherry.  You can see it in this post.  I forgot to take any process shots with this one, but I’ll include various photos of the bowl as I discuss the procedure a bit.


In both cases, the flutes were carved with a long-bent gouge, #5 sweep 16mm wide.  A steeper sweep would make the ridges between flutes a little too pronounced and possibly vulnerable in use.  While a shallower sweep like a #3 makes it more difficult to distinguish the ridges and define the flutes.


I don’t draw any guidelines before carving the flutes.  The width of the gouge itself keeps the width of the flutes at the rim reasonably similar.  I do like to put a little pencil mark in the center of the hollow.  That is my target point as the gouge makes its way downward and toward the center.  As the edge proceeds from rim to center, I ease up on the downward pressure exerted by my left hand on the shank of the tool, allowing the flute to simultaneously decrease in width and become more shallow.  This creates a tapering flute.


I work my way around the bowl in a rough pass, then go back around once again more carefully.  When I see I have around six or seven flutes to go on the first pass, I adjust the spacing for the remaining flutes just a touch to make sure I carve a full flute next to where I began.  After a couple passes, I try to leave it alone.  I want the subtle variations and tool marks from the hand process to remain.


I think on another bowl with converging flutes someday, I may incorporate Emily Dickinson’s thoughts with some carved lettering.  Lot’s of ideas for that and other pieces, I know I haven’t posted much for sale lately, but soon.


This entry was posted in bowls, carving, patterns, quotes and excerpts, Uncategorized, walnut and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Convergence

  1. francedozois says:

    All I can say is: Mon Dieu–it’s a marvel–


  2. Larry Zarra says:

    Hi Dave,

    I like this bowl a lot. You may recall my interest in carving flutes. Please let me know if this one is available.

    Thank you,



    • Dave Fisher says:

      This one was by request, so about to be on it’s way. I’m catching up on some other requests and will be getting to some more ideas — logs are waiting — that I will be able to post for sale. Among those, I’ll make some bowls with flutes like these again. Thanks for your interest. Hope you’re getting in some good turning and carving time!


  3. Gene Felder says:

    I used your technique to turn a potential negative, off-centered “eye”, into something I think works.
    Any way I can insert a picture here?
    Beautiful piece…a joy to the eye!


  4. nrhiller says:

    I second francedozois’s comment. Swooning.


  5. Jen Shrock-Jones says:

    Absolutely stunning


  6. Warren Hoey says:

    Beautiful lines and lovely fluting


  7. sartorius2015 says:

    The rim detail is inspired!


  8. Scott Thomas says:

    Beautiful Dave. I’m guessing this is the one you had underway at FWWL? If so, I’m glad I have a picture to compare the completed with what I held two weeks ago. Incredible process. I had an a-ha moment when I received the Langsner froe ordered from Lie-Neilson. It split a pretty dry piece of 4″ ash I had on the second hit. My Woodcraft froe wouldn’t hardly make a mark. That was encouraging for being a work in progress.


    • Dave Fisher says:

      Yep, Scott, that’s the same bowl, now with the necklace fully carved and all oiled. Glad you got the froe. Drew Langsner’s design for that froe is really well developed. When you were telling me about your previous froe during Peter’s spoon class, I had a feeling it was the same one I had at one time. Brought back frustrating memories!


      • Scott Thomas says:

        Thankfully, hopefully, we learn as we go. From our own mistakes and others experience.


  9. cynthamum says:

    So very lovely!

    On Sun, May 6, 2018, 1:49 PM David Fisher, Carving Explorations wrote:

    > Dave Fisher posted: ” Each life converges to some centre Expressed or > still; Exists in every human nature A goal, Admitted scarcely to itself, it > may be, Too fair For credibility’s temerity To dare. — Emily Dickinson, > from Each Life Converges to some Centre Whether the flu” >


  10. cynthamum says:

    “Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination.” Voltaire


  11. John Reed says:

    As always, just outstanding! Love every part of this design, Great work Dave, thanks for sharing! JReed

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Barry Gordon says:

    Wonderful, extremely strong piece Dave. Thanks for sharing! Barry

    Liked by 1 person

  13. treenworks says:

    Really enjoy the flutes in the bowl, I’ve only done them on the outside. Do you create the flutes while the wood is still green or after it has dried?

    25 days and counting!


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