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The bowl is a bird


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A pair of wrens nested in Dave Fisher’s yard in western Pennsylvania one summer and entertained him and his wife, Kristin, for weeks with their song, their flights ferrying twigs and food, and with the dramatic upward flip of their tails. That fall, when Dave came into a batch of trimmings from a neighbor’s Norway maple tree, one crooked chunk sparked his imagination: “I looked at the branch and it reminded me of a wren with its tail cocked in the air.” After he had spent some time using an ax, a drawknife, and a rasp, the branch was becoming a bird. He carved out the bowl with bent gouges and a hook knife, then finished the outside with a flexible card scraper and very fine sandpaper. Fisher often uses found wood for his carvings, and relies on it to inspire him. “Nature is a kind of design partner for me,” he says. “I could never have made this bowl without this particular piece of wood.”

—Jonathan Binzen

tree branch carved into bird tree branch carved into bird sanded

carving bowl

From Fine Woodworking #289


Carve a Greenwood Bowl with David Fisher

Using tools usually relegated to firewood preparation, David Fisher starts with a log and turns it into a bowl that’s refined and beautiful.

Carve Your Daily Bowl

Greenwood carver David Fisher eats his cereal each morning out of a bowl he carved himself. You can, too, with just a handful of tools and this quiet tutorial.

How to sharpen an adze

Using a bench grinder and a steady hand, Dave Fisher explains how to tune-up an adze–whether its an antique or a new model with sub-par bevels.

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