“Better an egg today than a hen tomorrow.”
Each piece of tree comes with it’s own history and quirks. I look closely and start thinking about possibilities. Usually this will result in a variation on some design I’ve carved before, but this cherry log directed me toward something a little more different. I neglected to take photos of the log, but it was the location of a few big knots that led me to this asymmetrical egg-shaped bowl with the flat split-side up.
I had a call for a big family salad bowl and this design would fit the bill. This is a relatively deep bowl steeply rising on the wide end…
…with a more gradual slope at the narrow end. Like it swallowed an egg.
For most of my bowls, a bent gouge can negotiate the entire hollow, but on the steep end of this one, the bent gouge — a Hans Karlsson in this case, but it would be the same for others as well — reaches its limits partway down. The handle begins to hit the inner edge of the rim, preventing the cutting edge from following the contour any further.
So, I finish the rest with a spoon bent gouge with a similar sweep. (A “swan-neck” or “dog-leg” gouge would do it as well. Different names, same idea.) The darker surface to the left is still waiting for these after-drying paring cuts.
After sketching out the pattern of graduated chips around the rim, I begin by stabbing the vertical sidewalls of the chips with a chisel. Same idea as chip carving with a knife, but with this many chips in dry cherry, the chisel makes sense. The deepest part is at the apex of the triangle toward the inside of the bowl, so I’ve angled the chisel that way and will stop the downward pressure when the cutting edge just kisses the outer edge of the rim.
Then the same chisel can cut the bottom and remove the chip. The corner of the chisel rides along one sidewall. When the cutting edge meets the other sidewall, out pops the chip.
There’s an apple down in there for scale in the photo below. Plenty of room for a big salad.