I acquired a walnut tree trunk diameter 40 cm some time ago but I did not really have time to carve something from it yet. Past couple of days however I took myself some time to make some things. I really like Richard Law’s and Robin Woods carved bowls. So I made a horse more or less like this, but from wood that I had left from building the Atelier for Mariana so it is a bit chunky.
To try out how the walnut wood works I’ve made some spoons, at first they did not look too good but after a while I got the hang of it. Walnut is has a bit more fibre then the birch or alder that I usually use. When you start cutting into the bark you can smell the junglone. It smells a bit like hospital disinfectant.
The wood itself is white when it is wet and the core wood is dark grayish brown. You get purple oxidation marks on the wood when carving it wet. When the wood dries it gets darker brown. I haven’t oiled any of the spoons yet so I don’t know how that looks. They still need to dry a little.
Making the bowls themselves is pretty straightforward. I’ve hollowed them out with a little adze. Then using a 25mm gauge and finished it with the spoonknife. For the outside I used the axe and then a pushknife, and finished with my carving knife.
I bought the pushknife online and it was called a drawknife but it never really worked for me. Somehow it didn’t bite into the wood like the second hand drawknifes I bought and repaired. But now I’ve discovered that it works very well as a pushknife and that is fine by me.
I still need to make the bowls and spoons smooth when the wood dried a bit. I probably use the spoonknife and an scrape iron to finish the inside.
The new horse works pretty well, should have made that I while ago. I was scared that after a couple of blows, I could pick everything up from the floor. But I’m surprised by the strength of the clamp from just two simple wedges.
I think the shape of the bowl is a bit boring, but one has to start somewhere. I’m going to make some more and bigger ones next week.