Duckling Revisited

The ducklings liked the new island so much that they decided to live there. All day long they follow the swan boats and eat peanuts.

Robert McCloskey, Make Way for Ducklings (1941)

As I finished this latest little duck bowl, I found myself thinking of Robert McCloskey‘s Make Way for Ducklings. I pulled the book off the shelf and enjoyed a read. I must have read it a couple hundred times when my kids were little, but it had been a while. I still love the story and, especially, McCloskey’s illustrations. Many of his preparatory sketches can be viewed here.

It had been a couple years since I had made one of these duck bowls, and I was reminded of the challenge.  I roughed this piece out of a green cherry log maybe four years ago, but had never got around to completing it.  The wood was thoroughly dry as I began carving it to its final shape.  The lighter color of the head is the sapwood of the tree, merging at the neck into the dark heartwood.  

I’ve carved these with two heads as well.  The general idea was inspired by Scandinavian ale bowls.  I’ve written several posts about these which include various designs and the general procedure I use to carve them.  I have an “ale bowl” category on the right that will bring up related posts.  For ducks specifically, type “duck” into the search box.

This little duckling is 7 1/4″ long,  5 1/4″ wide, and 4 1/2″ tall.  This one is for sale.  If you’re interested, please email me at  Thank you.  You can think of Robert McCloskey while eating your yogurt, or peanuts, from it. Update: SOLD

This entry was posted in ale bowls, bird bowls, cherry, quotes and excerpts, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Duckling Revisited

  1. Kalia Kliban says:

    Dang, that went fast.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Paul Anderson says:

    Beautiful bowl… I will have to check out some of the other McCloskey books. I read “Homer Price” to my 4th grade students every year. Great 4th grade humor, the donut machine that wouldn’t turn off, the mice catching machine, and others.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bobs Email says:


    The Duck Bowl is just splendid! There are two aspects of it which really ring my chimes. The first is the color transition between sapwood and heartwood and how you used that transition to advantage. Is there just a little touch of the sapwood in the Duck’s tail? The second is the raised “spine” up the back of the bowl’s interior to merge into the tail!

    Thank you so much for taking the time to make these postings to share your work and generate audience enthusiasm.

    Bob Simmons Sun City West, AZ

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Scott Ward says:

    Really amazing Dave. My little girl would love it. I should give it a go myself and try to make a duck or bird bowl sometime. It’s a tall order for my current skill level but I think it would be a great challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

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