In the current issue of Fine Woodworking Magazine, #288 Mar/Apr 2021, is an article in which I suggest seven or eight gouges that form a solid kit for greenwood carving. One of them is a #8 10mm gouge that can be used to add a variety of patterns to your bowls, spoons, shrink pots, boxes, or anything else.
Given the limited space in the magazine, they weren’t able to include this sample board I put together of just some of the patterns that can be created using just one #8 gouge, although a couple of the patterns include some cuts from a narrower gouge, or some nail taps. So I’m sharing it here. The vertical plunge cut is followed by an angled back cut that meets it and removes a chip. Varying the distance between those two cuts and the arrangement of the chips provides for all sorts of possibilities.
Of course, various widths of gouges can create chips from tiny to large, but, regardless of width, I find that a #8 or #9 sweep works best for most patterns. Simple, fun technique, and if executed crisply, really catches light and shadow to great effect. You might easily get carried away and be running around with your gouge like Charlie Chaplin with his wrenches.
Now I’m off for some final preparations for today’s online bowl carving class. Elia and I are excited to get started. Looking forward to seeing some of you there.