Dyeing Craft lll: Carving

We completed this project in the heat of the summer; it seems more than a little odd to be writing about it today:


(This was just the first day of three highly unusual consecutive snow days. The power was mostly out over the weekend, and is still on and off again as the snow continues and broken trees and branches contact the overhead lines.) 

Back to sunnier days: while Esme tended the charcoal fires, I set up another length of fir log, plugged in the Makita angle grinder with a chainsaw-toothed carving disc attached, and began:

Image 2

If possible I wanted to go down about 18” into the log, tapering the bowl to about half the starting diameter by the time the bottom was reached.  Whether this was possible remained to be seen, given the size of the grinder and the amount of room needed to firmly hold and control the tool. The working position was also hard on my back, so I rather thought that it would be better to work with the log positioned horizontally. In this case the log could perhaps be slowly rolled from side to side in a way which imitates the normal action of a bowl-turning lathe—other than that the work-piece would be moving from side to side while it rotated.

So we gave it a go:


Dangerous, and not a success; the log needed to be stationary. 

So back to the upright log and bending over. This small clip is fairly typical of the whole hollowing procedure:

Note that the side handle to the grinder has been removed. I doubt that this is an approved operating mode…...

Approved or not, with some help from a curved drawknife and large gouge it worked, and at the end of the day we had an adequate mortar; some final sanding and smoothing was necessary, but the basic job was doe.  


Next up: turning the pestle and pounding some leaves.