There are two types of wooden bowls: hewn bowls and turned bowls. Turned bowls are turned on a lathe by a turner. I make the former: hewn bowls, using axe, froe, adze and chisel to carve out the shape.
Are hewn bowls for beauty?
Of course they are. Each bowl, plate and cutting board hewn from a log takes many hours of carving spread out over many weeks to dry. The result is a dish of unique shape and style, carved with the grain in mind. Beauty is certainly a priority.
Can we eat with them?
Absolutely! This is a craft of both function and beauty! Take a look at Woodcraft Care to keep your bowl safe and healthy. Use your bowl for dried food, and liquids like your morning cereal. With consistent use, it will eventually need a fresh coat of natural wood finish (food-grade oil and bees wax) to keep it long-lasting.
You do need to be careful with hot liquids, which can will wear the natural finish faster than cold foods. Avoid steaming-hot foods, the dishwasher, and soaking in the sink. Keep a healthy layer of natural wood finish when using your bowl regularly, using your judgement to keep the surface healthy. We don’t want it to dry out.
It’s like you would maintain a cast iron pan: recoat the non-stick surface occasionally to keep it happy.