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Bowl Carving with Axe, Adze and Gouge

Course Overview

Make the wood chips fly! This course is for students ready to stand at the chopping block and learn to use classic wooden bowl-carving hand tools – the adze, axe, gouge push knife, and others. During this class, topics including selection of wood stock, elements of bowl design, strategies for hand-hewing, use of sharpening skills, and techniques for finishing will be explored. Students start with a birch log and end with a spectacular bowl (or two!) with graceful lines and smooth surfaces. The shape and style of the bowl connects directly to how the tools themselves function – the classic hand-crafted lines echo the Scandinavian bowl carving tradition that reaches back hundreds of years.

During the shaping of the bowl, students learn to use appropriate tools as well as holding devices such as wedges and blocking. Both a chopping block and a bowl-carving bench will be utilized. A variety of tools, books on traditional bowl carving, and other resource materials are provided for students to use during the workshop. Techniques for managing the drying of a greenwood bowl will also be covered. As time allows, students may experiment with a second bowl style, if desired.

Ability Notes: Students should expect the tool use to be similar to swinging a hammer for an extended period of time . Breaks and rest time will be as needed by each indiviual.

Age without an Adult: 16+

Required Tools

  • Soft leaded pencil

Optional Tools

  • Eye protection - usually not needed but safety glasses available in school store .
  • Gloves (leather or carving for those with tender hands. Carving gloves are available for purchase @ NH)
  • Sharp carving hatchet
  • 1" or larger gouges
  • Wood carver's gouge adze
  • 8L/35 bent gouge

Course Details

Currently Scheduled Sessions