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Contemplating & Carving Curves

Posted August 24, 2015

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. 

I really enjoy the lines on these two bowls that I made earlier this summer. Birch, 6” diameter, 2015. 



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.


This is my attempt to turn similar lines on an ale bowl.
Birch, 7” diameter, 2015.
This activity was made possible in part by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.