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Thread: Viking Ale Bowl - Axe carved Prunus Serotina

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    Greenwoodsman Vendor Adahy's Avatar
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    Default Viking Ale Bowl - Axe carved Prunus Serotina

    I had to take a mental break from orders and just carve up something blindly or freeform. Sometimes I find it necessary to do this to ease the brain. It gets repetive making the same things over and over.
    My holiday orders are carved, and almost dry so I'm finally back to perfecting some spoon designs and last week I started something I'm really proud of.



    I was talking with a well known greenwood carver from Wisconsin, and he suggested I get a book by a guy named Bill Coperthwaite. I ordered the book that night after reading about him online, and thought I should drive up to Maine and meet him someday.
    It'd be a great chapter for this book I'm going to be working on this year.

    In his book: A Handmade Life: In Search of Simplicity, he wrote, I want to live in a society where people are intoxicated with the joy of making things."

    Me too Bill.


    [image borrowed]

    The next day I read online that he got in a terrible auto accident during an icestorm and perished in his van on his way home.

    He was the pioneer of yurts in America and devoted his life to living simple..and handmade. He lived remotely two miles from the nearest road without a phone, running water or electricity. This is how I want to live my life one day. On top of this he was an amazing woodworker.
    He is given credit for bringing Wille Sundqvist to America for the first time which has single handedly changed the handcrafts movement. Especially with spoon carving.


    [image borrowed]

    Get his book, I'm reading it now.


    Kind of a bummer to me, people like this are very rare, and I want to meet and showcase as much of their work as I can.

    I saw photos of an ale bowl in his home, and decided I finally try my hand at making one. They're very difficult to master.

    ----

    This one is a tribute to Bill Coperthwaite.


    I guess I'll call it the 'ale duck'

    Naturally this is of black cherry - prunus serotina

    The bowl is lipped, so it's actually hollowed into the sides.

    Ive had to take it easy carving the past couple of nights because my knuckles are bruised up from making this. Most of my tools are really meant for tiny spoons not giant sculpture, so after many hours at it, I woke up with some bruised and slightly swollen knuckles on my right hand.

    Careful attention is needed when axing this out not to break off the handles. I worked on this from 2pm-11pm with breaks of course. There is also a neat play with sapwood (white) on the head and tail.

    If one were to drink this much ale, they'd be pretty tipsy... so it's for sharing.






    Last edited by Adahy; 12-09-2013 at 04:20 PM.
    Visit my Vendor Sub-forum Hudson Valley Handcrafts - Home of the hand carved KUKSA and other greenwood axe art
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    Greenwoodsman Vendor Adahy's Avatar
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    Here you can see the wing shape I carved into the side.











    Quack!
    Visit my Vendor Sub-forum Hudson Valley Handcrafts - Home of the hand carved KUKSA and other greenwood axe art
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    I will not give away my hard-earned skills to a machine. Its a bit like robbery with violence, for (machines are) not only intended to diminish my bank balance, but also to steal my power.
    -John Brown


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    Very nice! We have a ceramic ale bowl with dragon heads....my wife has been in Norwegian wedding parties with very old (hundred years old bowls) family ale bowls used at the beginning of the celebrations. Keeping things hand made is an art worth pursuing......

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    Alex,
    That turned out amazing! That is something that I'm sure you'll cherish for many years to come, as well as pass on to your little carvers, whenever y'all decide to have little ones! As always, I'm amazed at your craftsmanship. I mentioned another thread that I should have a copy of Sundqvist's book when I get home today thanks to Del and Mary at Pinewood Forge. I can't wait to learn more carving techniques so that one day I can be 1/10th as good as you!

    Again, awesome work my friend!
    You know you are doing something right when your son tells you "Daddy, you are my bestest friend in the whole galaxy..." followed by your daughter asking "can we go to the woods?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjh View Post
    Very nice! We have a ceramic ale bowl with dragon heads....my wife has been in Norwegian wedding parties with very old (hundred years old bowls) family ale bowls used at the beginning of the celebrations. Keeping things hand made is an art worth pursuing......
    Great to hear from someone that has been around ale bowls. There is very little about them online. Which is all the more reason to keep making them! I just hope I do them justice since I don't believe I have that area of the world in my blood. Id love to see photos of these if you ever come across some of your families.

    I think I will make more but I need a proper tool upgrade. This one hurt

    Quote Originally Posted by Aggieoutdoorsman View Post
    Alex,
    That turned out amazing! That is something that I'm sure you'll cherish for many years to come, as well as pass on to your little carvers, whenever y'all decide to have little ones! As always, I'm amazed at your craftsmanship. I mentioned another thread that I should have a copy of Sundqvist's book when I get home today thanks to Del and Mary at Pinewood Forge. I can't wait to learn more carving techniques so that one day I can be 1/10th as good as you!

    Again, awesome work my friend!
    Thank you man. Ive already had people wanting to buy this piece, but Im unsure of what I'd charge. It was extremely difficult to carve, and hard on the body. Not to mention.... carving it without snapping the handles off!

    That's funny I was just talking to Del and Mary yesterday, aren't they they best? The book is great. Took me two years to get a copy, and it was really expensive and rare at the time. I was a bit let down when I read it because I ended up learning the majority of technique thru years of trial and error. I still reference the book weekly and cherish it.
    Visit my Vendor Sub-forum Hudson Valley Handcrafts - Home of the hand carved KUKSA and other greenwood axe art
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    I will not give away my hard-earned skills to a machine. Its a bit like robbery with violence, for (machines are) not only intended to diminish my bank balance, but also to steal my power.
    -John Brown

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    I really can connect with that quote.
    I want to live in a society where people are intoxicated with the joy of making things."
    I may have to get that book just because of that quote. I love to make stuff, no matter what the medium. And when I'm making something, I'm consumed by it. That thing I'm making is the only thing I can concentrate on until I finish it. And if I stop before I thought it was complete, I will dwell on it for quite some time to come.

    I to, like the Ale bowl.
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    Fn Fantastic bowl Alex! Oh man If I were a viking or a dwarf would I want that in my cupbard ha ha!
    Thanks for adding yet another book to my already long reading list 8P ha ha.

    I agree with skab as well. I may not make a much but it sure does feel good when you can make something on your own and is of better quality then the cheapo stuff that you can get in the stores.
    ~The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.~
    -Axe Mob-

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    I like the portrait & the yurt photo. Drink a bowl for me.
    The only thing you deserve is what you earn.

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    So you crafted that taking a break?? It's amazingly beautiful! Well done man!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skab View Post
    I really can connect with that quote. I may have to get that book just because of that quote. I love to make stuff, no matter what the medium. And when I'm making something, I'm consumed by it. That thing I'm making is the only thing I can concentrate on until I finish it. And if I stop before I thought it was complete, I will dwell on it for quite some time to come.

    I to, like the Ale bowl.
    Amen brother. It's just a force now that I don't really have to think about much. Theres only a couple things I can't make now (at least in my lifestyle) I dont need much. That's another reason I enjoy seeing your work too. You gather it, process the raw materials, and also have an artful touch to complete it. Being in that meditative zone is great. How many times have you looked at the clock wondering how you forgot to eat breakfast lunch and dinner... because you were so engulfed in your work. A time warp?

    Good chatting with you man

    Quote Originally Posted by silhouette View Post
    Fn Fantastic bowl Alex! Oh man If I were a viking or a dwarf would I want that in my cupbard ha ha!
    Thanks for adding yet another book to my already long reading list 8P ha ha.

    I agree with skab as well. I may not make a much but it sure does feel good when you can make something on your own and is of better quality then the cheapo stuff that you can get in the stores.
    You do need the book, its great so far. Some don't like it but so far Im very into it. I feel like someone understands my philosophy when reading it. Its neat.

    Creating no long takes a lot of thought or push to do so. Its just a daily part of my life now that I think about it. Im always making something and its second nature. Music, images, wooden things I need around the house. Infact Ive never even really thought about this before... a 'maker'. Part of my reasoning is I just hate to buy things. Its more fun to have the challenge of making it, as well as learning something new. Each new thing opens up doors to ten others.
    Visit my Vendor Sub-forum Hudson Valley Handcrafts - Home of the hand carved KUKSA and other greenwood axe art
    My Website The Axe is Bold as Love
    My facebook page
    My Youtube Page
    I will not give away my hard-earned skills to a machine. Its a bit like robbery with violence, for (machines are) not only intended to diminish my bank balance, but also to steal my power.
    -John Brown

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