One of the reasons I am drawn to bowl turning, spoon carving and boat building is because of the beautiful sculptural and feminine curves that are inherent in so many designs. The concave and convex lines of traditional Scandinavian wooden ale bowls are particularly appealing to me. The characteristic concave curve near the rim of the bowl serves multiple functions: it makes it easier to place one’s lips on the edge of the bowl for drinking, it minimizes spilling, and it’s simply beautiful.
This 18th century ale bowl struck me because it not only has the concave curve at the rim, it also has multiple concave curves that are divided by lines down its convex side. Image from Gjærder, Per. Norske drikkekar av tre. Universitetsforlaget, 1975.