A Couple Shrink Pots and Spoons


I made a couple shrink posts from sections of birch with personality that I just couldn’t resist.  The bark seems so alive and dynamic — warts and all.  The bending nature of these pieces added just a bit of extra challenge to the  hollowing.  The irregular shape just requires the carving of a matching bottom.

Here are a couple slideshows of them (To see the slideshow, you need to view the blog post in your web browser):

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I finished some eating spoons.  These were all carved from black cherry crooks and it really shows how much difference there can be not only from heartwood to sapwood, but also between individual trees.


And here’s a long slender serving ladle carved from a good maple crook.  The thin handle flows with the grain off to the side.



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This entry was posted in finding wood, shrink box, spoons, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to A Couple Shrink Pots and Spoons

  1. francedozois says:

    great stuff as always–

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A Couple Shrink Pots and Spoons – Site Title

  3. hiscarpentry says:


    That’s all I can think to say.

    I hope I can join you in June.


  4. sartorius2015 says:

    Dave, If you still have the long maple ladle I’d like to buy it. Norm

    PS – 3 hours have passes since your email so I expect I missed my chance. Nice one!

    From: “David Fisher, Carving Explorations” Reply-To: Carving Explorations Date: Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 5:44 PM To: “Norman E. Sartorius” Subject: [New post] A Couple Shrink Pots and Spoons

    WordPress.com Dave Fisher posted: ” With lots of irons in the fire, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted some things for sale, but I do have a couple shrink pots and spoons to offer. Email me at dandkfish@gmail.com if you’d like something. You can send a check or use paypal. First these “


  5. Gosia says:

    Beautiful spoons and shrink pots – as always! Dave, may I ask what hook knives do you use to carve your spoons (brand/maker)? I assume you don’t sand them and yet they have such a beautiful finish. Always a pleasure to see your work. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dave Fisher says:

      Although many other brands and models will work just as well, I typically use a Mora 106 knife and a Svante Djarv (Big) spoon knife. I often use a Mora 162 double-edge spoon knife to rough out spoon bowls. I think the most important elements for the surface quality of the spoons are sharpness of the tool and technique in cutting, regardless of the brand. I use the SD spoon knife because it was the first one I bought many years ago, so I’ve grown used to it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. onerubbersoul says:

    Beautiful lines, curves, and cuts. Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. JReed says:

    Beautiful work as always! Thanks for sharing and educating us at the same time. I have left the bark on several shrink pots and I find the bark usually separates from the wood. Do you slow down the drying by wrapping them for a time? JReed

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dave Fisher says:

      Hmmm. I haven’t had the bark come apart from the wood in any of mine. I wonder if it has something to do with the time of year the tree/branch is cut. If it’s cut when the sap is rising in spring or early summer, I’d think it would be more likely to separate, but I’m sure I’ve harvested at various times of year. I’ve been using some of them for years and the bark is still tight.


      • JReed says:

        White Birch, cut in January, two of four pots separated, two are fine. I also have three Yellow Birch pots, same date cut, that I left the bark on (beautiful bark by the way!) they are all fine. The wood in the sidewall is quite thin, could it be the wood sidewall is too thin and shrinking away from the bark?


  8. Dave Fisher says:

    Hmmmm. I doubt that it matters if the sidewalls are very thin. Could just be individual differences between trees. I notice that wide variation in the characteristics of individual trees within a species in many ways. Then again, sounds like your white birch ones were from the same tree. I’ll keep thinking….


  9. Sandi says:


    For curiosity purposes only, a photo showing four pots, all from the same tree. The two on the left show the bark separating from the wood. Has to be the difference between drying in my house or sitting out in the shop, difference in dry time between the wood and the bark. guess I’ll be experimenting next Winter!




  10. Андрей says:

    Good afternoon.
    Please tell me, do your shrinkpots crack when they dry?
    And how do you dry them?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dave Fisher says:

      They’re not supposed to, and they usually don’t. Rarely, one will crack during the drying process, usually due to some unnoticed hairline check in the wood or something. Once the bottom is in place, I just set the pot on its side to dry out of any sun or wind. That’s it. Takes just a few days for a small pot to dry.


      • Андрей says:

        Thank you for your answer. I am happy to periodically read your posts for a year and admire the photos.
        And nowhere in the text not in the comments did not see that someone wrote that the pots crack. But I have unfortunately they crack. And I can’t figure out why. If you look at your photos you can see that you just put them to dry and that’s all. As you wrote in the comments.
        I got the maple wood at the end of November. It’s quite raw. A birch collected broken by the wind in September. Maybe there’s a lot of moisture for pots?
        But at other masters I saw that they make pots even in the summer or early autumn.


  11. Dave Fisher says:

    Try an experiment in which you leave one to dry without a bottom, just to see if they are cracking as they shrink around a bottom that is too big or because of some defect in the wood. Some pieces of wood are just not going to cooperate. I tried to make several shrink pots from American Sycamore a few years ago. Every one of them developed cracks as they dried. Keep trying, and you’ll have success.


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