Viking Ale Bowl - Axe carved Prunus Serotina

Discussion in 'Hudson Valley Handcrafts' started by Adahy, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Messages:
    9,526
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Upstate, New York
    Skype:
    alex.yerks
    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.

    [​IMG]
    [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.

    [​IMG]
    [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.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  2. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Messages:
    9,526
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Upstate, New York
    Skype:
    alex.yerks


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Here you can see the wing shape I carved into the side.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Quack!​
     
  3. mjh

    mjh Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,371
    Likes Received:
    320
    Location:
    confluence of Mississippi and Rum Rivers
    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......
     
  4. Aggieoutdoorsman

    Aggieoutdoorsman Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2013
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    College Station TX
    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!
     
  5. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Messages:
    9,526
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Upstate, New York
    Skype:
    alex.yerks
    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

    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.
     
  6. Skab

    Skab Staff Staff Member Super Moderator Vendor Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    15,486
    Likes Received:
    304
    Location:
    Nebraska
    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.
     
  7. silhouette

    silhouette Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    894
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    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.
     
  8. Longbeard

    Longbeard on the PCT Bushclass III

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    Messages:
    5,699
    Likes Received:
    223
    Location:
    Iowa
    I like the portrait & the yurt photo. Drink a bowl for me.
     
  9. JimBow

    JimBow Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,675
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Cnt. Texas
    So you crafted that taking a break?? It's amazingly beautiful! Well done man!
     
  10. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Messages:
    9,526
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Upstate, New York
    Skype:
    alex.yerks
    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

    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.
     
  11. Therealredding

    Therealredding Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2013
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    Skype:
    therealredding
    That looks amazing! Great job!!

    Every once in a great while, you are introduced to someone that truly inspires you. For me, it was when I stumbled upon the great photographer Rodney Smith. You have to cherish those moments because they really are so far in between.

    Checking out the book now.
     
  12. Rickpete12

    Rickpete12 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Abington, MA
    As an ex-patriate Minnesotan, home of the Vikings, "SKOL!". That bowl is fantastic!
     
  13. Ulfgrim

    Ulfgrim Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,041
    Likes Received:
    1
    Damn Alex. I knew it'd turn out great, but that is a whole new level of work. Is there anything you can't carve on the fly?
     
  14. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Messages:
    9,526
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Upstate, New York
    Skype:
    alex.yerks
    I like his work too. Good hats!

    Thanks man, I haven't tried to carve a kuksa boat yet... but soon!
     
  15. Sides

    Sides Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    1,565
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Illinois
    Beautiful work Alex. I don't think I could let that one go. You are a better man than I.
     
  16. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Messages:
    9,526
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Upstate, New York
    Skype:
    alex.yerks
    To be honest I'm not sure if I will. But I could use the money right now as well. I could upgrade some tools to make other ones a little easier.
     
  17. sierra-trekker

    sierra-trekker Scout Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Messages:
    720
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Central California
    That things a monster! Great work, hope your hands heal up OK.
     
  18. amusin

    amusin Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Messages:
    2,324
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Downriver from Portland OR
    I wish i could think of a better way to tell you that thats amazing work,

    I'll give ya half of my lottery winnings for it
     
  19. Scott Allen

    Scott Allen Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Messages:
    3,825
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Socialist Republic of Maryland
    Excellent work! Just a note; that bowl size looks just right for any Viking worth his horns and axe!

    Scott
     
  20. Wolf410

    Wolf410 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    969
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Glen Ridge NJ
    Skype:
    edward.leigh2
    That's a gotegous piece Alex...your stuff just gets better and better each time I see it
     
  21. CTwoodsman

    CTwoodsman Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2013
    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Durham, Connecticut
    Great work. An interesting piece for sure, and something I'm sure you will get some use out of. I always look forward to your carvings and your photography.
     
  22. SmilinJoe

    SmilinJoe Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,883
    Likes Received:
    353
    Location:
    Kyle, Texas
    Crazy that the man died not long after you found him. Hopefully his spirit will guide you in your work. Kinda sounds like it already has.
     
  23. darodalaf

    darodalaf Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    1,097
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Middle Rio Grande Valley, NM / Lower Hudson Valley
    Keep that ale bowl and use it for toasting the significant moments in your life and your friends' and family's lives.
     
  24. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Messages:
    9,526
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Upstate, New York
    Skype:
    alex.yerks
    Deal! 8)

    I always seem to run into strange coincidences. Glad I found out about him, he's a legend

    Very true!
     
  25. Mudman

    Mudman Guide Vendor

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    Messages:
    3,222
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Cerritos
    Gorgeous piece!
     
  26. amusin

    amusin Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Messages:
    2,324
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Downriver from Portland OR

    That's great cause I won $2 off my last powerball ticket


    *Missing one clue and a pile of self motivation, if you've seen either of these items please contact me*
     
  27. Lichen

    Lichen Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Messages:
    2,296
    Likes Received:
    307
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    All I can say is WOW! I love it. In Arizona, that would be considered a shot glass.
     
  28. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Messages:
    9,526
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Upstate, New York
    Skype:
    alex.yerks
    This may be dry in time for New Years Eve. I might have to test it out.
     

Share This Page