When you are short of leisure time due to work, family obligations or other pressing matters, the type of project you decide to take on just for fun should be considered carefully. Although I am fortunate to have my hobby and work tied up together, I am no stranger to this deliberation process. When I have a few hours off from professional woodworking, teaching or writing about woodworking (not to mention shop upkeep) and I want to take on a quick and fulfilling project, I often gravitate towards a short carving mission. Making a wooden animal for my son Asher is one of these 30 min projects and carving a branch bowl, although it takes a bit longer to complete, is another.
These branch bowls are simply a trench gouged out from a split branch. Because we can preserve the live edge, and often the bark of the branch, this quick exercise in wood carving can become a centerpiece on a dining room table, sideboard or shelf.