Bowl Appreciation - Old wooden bowls

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Bowl Appreciation - Old wooden bowls

Postby ToneWood » Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:43 pm

I first became interested in bowls after seeing an old trog / dough bowl in American. They occasionally turn up cheaply but there is some appreciation of them and the prices can get quite high - perhaps due to the image of early settlers crossing the plains in covered wagons with their dough bowls. Just recently I came across this one on ebay - it is very much of the type I recall seeing in America, a little worm-eaten but look at those tool marks! Not to mention patina :) The shape is what I would now associate with Swedish woodcarving - but those deep tool marks (which I love), seem very un-Swedish to my untrained eye. Looks like this one is from Bulgaria.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Antique-wood- ... 1e70679a9b
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Re: Bowl Appreciation - Old wooden bowls

Postby Davie Crockett » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:36 pm

A couple of old dough bowls in a museum in Paphos, Cyprus.
Image One has split and has been plated. They are about 14" across and 20" long.
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Re: Bowl Appreciation - Old wooden bowls

Postby ToneWood » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:29 am

Maori Carved Wooden Bowl New Zealand
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http://www.rubylane.com/item/705896-105 ... wl-Zealand
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Re: Bowl Appreciation - Old wooden bowls

Postby ToneWood » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:08 am

I snapped this monster-sized carved bowl, more of a trough really, outside a store in St. Ives, Cornwall:
Big old carved bowl trough.jpg
Big old carved bowl trough.jpg (54.28 KiB) Viewed 14977 times

It was probably about 3' (1 yard/1 metre) long, possibly more. Perhaps the handles give a clue to its intended use (feed trough/planter maybe)?
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Re: Bowl Appreciation - Old wooden bowls

Postby bulldawg_65 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:18 pm

Tone, those are really nice. I especially like the ones that still have the adze and gouge marks left in them!
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Re: Bowl Appreciation - Old wooden bowls

Postby Holzbob » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:41 pm

There is a german television series where people are shown who still know crafts which have mostly died out long ago.
It is called "Der Letzte seines Standes".
There was one film about a "Mollenhauer" who shows how he makes a big trough which until a couple of decades ago would have been used for butchering pigs.
It looks very much like your last trough.
I wasn't able to find a video that could be watched online for you, but you may be able to buy a DVD on this topic.
I think it was poplar wood that he used. Where troughs made from boards always started o leak at the seams, when the wood shrunk in dry air, the hewn "Mollen" stayed in usable condition. Probably it was very important to store the troughs dry enough to keep the wood from rotting.
At the point of time the film was made the man was about 80 years old, lived with his wife in a quite simple hut and they made and sold small wooden items for some additional income.
It would be quite interesting to make a trough like that, but I couldn't imagine a practical use for it.

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Re: Bowl Appreciation - Old wooden bowls

Postby ToneWood » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:32 pm

That's a sad title, I'm assuming it means something like "Last of their kind". Sounds like the kind of TV that might inspire others though.

Perhaps the trough was used for "processing" pigs. In my Grandfathers' day, it was not uncommon for folk to keep a pig and eventually slaughter & process it themselves (which would be illegal now). One of the big houses in my village has a couple of little pigs (probably grown up pet mini-pigs) - they are pleasant animals that seem to enjoy human company. At the outdoor museum Old World Wisconsin (near Eagle, WI close to the Illinois border), in the USA, one house in its German village has a huge, smokey inglenook-style chimney, supposedly built for smoking pig carcasses & products.

Practical use: flower planter, (in-door) feed trough, pet bath? I guess water/wetness would be a problem, as you point out. And direct sunlight too. Perhaps with some linseed oil (quite a lot given the size) and/or a liner it would be practical? I don't know if the trough was for sale or just used as a decorative curiosity.
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Re: Bowl Appreciation - Old wooden bowls

Postby ToneWood » Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:25 pm

Dough bowl with a remarkably similar design to the trough above (Austrian?):
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http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Antique-Primi ... 4856859%26
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Re: Bowl Appreciation - Old wooden bowls

Postby ToneWood » Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:00 am

Further to Holzbob's post above, I recently came across an article that talked about the Swiss having a tradition of carving large wooden troughs that are left to air dry - in the dry alpine air. Drew Langsner also mentions this in his book (he trained in Switzerland) and describes how holding milk also preserved wood.

BTW I think we need a cross-link to grinagog's, "buckleberry* bowls! (picture heavy!)"-thread: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1477&p=10397&hilit=George+Lailey#p10397
What a lovely old bowl. *Bucklebury
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Munising Wooden Bowls

Postby ToneWood » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:30 pm

I came across this nice old "Munising" Wooden Bowl: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Very-Large-15 ... 4aca2e43bd
Munising Bowl 2.JPG
Munising Bowl 2.JPG (52.61 KiB) Viewed 13847 times

A search on google revealed that Munising is both a place (in Michigan) and a company that has produced wooden bowls for some considerable time:
http://www.algercounty.com/woodenware/mwphist.html
Martha Stewart even offers a brief history & advice on care of a Munising bowl: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/7000 ... tml?pg=all
Video of a Munising bowl! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZBFMAnqZ-4
The well used old ones have a lot more character than the shiny new painted ones I think. Search ebay or google for more images - their handled bowl is novel, it looks like a frying pan on legs.
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Re: Bowl Appreciation - Old wooden bowls

Postby ToneWood » Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:19 pm

Saw a very nice, old dough bowl being used by Lucy Worsley to make bread, on her TV history program "If walls could talk: The history of the home" last night: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b010flp4
Unfortunately couldn't find a picture of the bowl but here is one of Lucy in her natural setting :)
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I'd like to make a similar bowl, so tried to estimate the dimensions: the bowl was wide, about 10"-12" and maybe 16-20" long, fairly deep (not as deep as my leylandii dough bowl).

Lots of fabulous, old, wooden dough troughs on ebay in America for inspiration: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=wooden+dough+trough
Prices seem pretty reasonable, for both buyers & sellers.
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This is the bottom of second bowl feature above:
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I particularly like the contrast of smooth finished top & inside, slim sides and distinct but restrained handle/lips and the a heavily tool-marked (adzed?) bottom & outside - which is quite natural and practical if you think about it. And the impressive 34"x15"x6.5" dimensions (base is 20" long). Surprised how little effort was expended flattening the bottom, compared to the considerable time, care & skill taken on the top & inside - perhaps not necessary?
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