Inspired by the beautiful multi hollow bowls carved by American greenwood-working wizard Drew Langsner, I grabbed my axe, adze and gouges and set to work upon a cherry log. The page that inspired me is here http://drewlangsner.com/jazz.htm
The combination of his writing style, story behind the evolution of his multi hollow bowls and other thoughts on creativity leaped up out of the screen and grabbed me;
”I did woodworking for about 25 years before understanding this basic truth.
Most woodworking can be understood as the interaction of an animal, and mineral. Most woodworking problems can be understood when looked at carefully within this perspective. Understanding something, however, doesn’t mean that you can do it. Perhaps the wood is not suitable for the intended use. Perhaps the tools aren’t properly prepared. Perhaps more skill is required than available.” (Drew Langsner)
Drew made 13 pieces in 2007 from some large diameter sassafras which was originally intended for Windsor chair seats. The hollows in his bowls are forms like shellfish or snowflakes, (mine are simple hollows, as you can see). He was first more interested in the arrangements of the negative shapes in the wood but later became more interested in the rim and overhangs which make the bowl appear to be floating over the table. (It’s hard to show this in a photo but the top picture and the last one give some idea).
Here’s a picture from one of the markets with a couple of spoons to give an idea of scale. These two bowls came from one log and were carved with the bark uppermost. I like to use the shape of the natural curve of the log for the top surface. Cutting through the annual rings as the hollows are carved this way result in the attractive concentric rings being revealed in the finished bowl.
I liked the look and feel of the finish straight from the gouge, so didn’t bother to smooth either the inside or outside of my bowls. Although very different to the swedish style bowls I sometimes carve, these multi hollow bowls are also a joy to carve and I’ll be experimenting some more. They are perfect for olives/tapas etc or hummous or other dips with carrot sticks. Olive stones can be dropped in the smaller hollows or they can be filled with hummous etc…