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.