Merging Shrink Pots

The five-year-old said he loves his dad’s hugs and fly fishing together, so I came up with this pair of merging shrink pots carved with a line from Norman Maclean’s novella A River Runs Through It. The larger pot is about 10″ (255mm) tall with the finial, 7″ (180mm) without. Diameter is a little over 4″ (115mm).

After lots of sketchbook sketching and head scratching, I cut a fresh cherry log into two sections and drilled a hole through each with a 2″ T-handle auger. (I’ve written many other posts about making shrink pots; check out the “shrink box” category from the menu to the right.) Notice the fresher cut on the piece to the right where I had just sawed the one length into two. On the piece to the left, I have marked my plan for shaping the base of the larger pot to accept the circumference of the smaller pot. I sized the outer circle of the larger pot to maximize the heartwood while eliminating the sapwood.

There’s the view from the bottom of the finished pots nestled together.

Matching the shape at the bottom was easy compared to the rest of the way up, especially considering that both pots are hand shaped. It came down to shaving a bit more here and there with a gouge, checking the fit, repeat….

Following the 2″ hole, the rest of the material was removed from both pots with a gouge. The larger pot’s interior was shaped to reflect the form of the exterior.

After I cut and trimmed the top surfaces level, it was time to make tight-fitting lids. You can make rabbets on this type of lid by carving from a single piece, or turning on a lathe. In this instance, I laminated two pieces together to form the rabbet. Here’s a captioned slide show (below) that details that process:

The finials were carved from walnut, for contrast and as a nod to the dark brown hair of the father and son.

The finials are fit to the lid with a shouldered tenon, wedged from below. The interior side of the lid and pots were left unfinished so that nothing might effect the taste of the oats, tea, or whatever stored inside.

The lettering was cut with a knife, along with a couple small gouges for the tighter outer curves.

Time for some fishing.

This entry was posted in Lettering, quotes and excerpts, shrink box, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Merging Shrink Pots

  1. Greg Hott says:


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Barry Gordon says:

    Dave, Once again your creativity and skill glow!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. JimAnd says:

    I took a krympburkar class from Jögge several years ago and enjoyed I fine your merging of the two pots to be clever and fun. I envy your lettering, I must practice more. Your piece is true art.


  4. Emil says:

    Wonderful design!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Richard says:

    Absolutely Beautiful… And… Beautifully Merged as One… the expression reminds me of this – per Bertrand Russell…. “An individual human existence should be like a river….. small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past rocks and over waterfalls. Gradually, the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly, and in the end, without any visible break, they become merged in the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being.”
    As always, thank you for sharing your gift….!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. John a says:

    These are so beautiful and really embody the craftsmanship and spirit that I really admire in all your work.


  7. Michael J Amphlett says:

    Stunning work Dave, thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mrbuddha1950 says:

    Amazing (as always)!
    The line from the same-named movie that sticks with me is the arrival of someone from San Diego – “That’s where you have weather instead of seaons”.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Favorite Carver + Favorite Quote = Stunning!


  10. fmvan says:


    We are having disease hit the beech trees in this area (SE Mass). We have a large one that is dying. I assume that it would be a good wood for spoons and bowls (?).


  11. 25LTuesday says:

    I just love these creations. There is something about them that is causing emotions to rise inside. Beautiful and thoughtful work. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s