Friday, 4 January 2013

SPOON # 1 - 4th January

Well, here we are - 2013 and as promised, here is the first of this year's 52 spoons.

I added a little 'up-sweep' at the end of the handle in the Swedish style
So here's the story of this spoon: I think it's willow. I cut it from a fallen tree (still alive) by the banks of the river Sence as it passes by the allotments at Crow Mill, South Wigston, Leicester. I felt quite naughty cutting the wood as the land nearby where it grew has recently had signs put up saying 'Private property, keep out' but there were no new fences or anything so I helped myself anyway. I didn't do any damage.

I was happy for this spoon to be my first for 2013 as it was carved from a natural crook. If you are a spoon carver you may be thinking, "so what, I've carved a million crooks?" Well, I have tried a few and they've never really worked out satisfactorily - I've never quite managed to possition the bowl in the right place on the bend of the crook, resulting in a spoon that looks more like a golf putter, and an elongated bowl.

I wanted to have a go at painting this one, I really like yellow ochre type colours, but I didn't have any proper milk paint mixed so kind of bodged it with cheap acrylic paints mixed with wallnut oil (I finally went and bought some - my brother has been telling me for ages that I shouldn't be using olive oil, which I agree tends to smell a bit rancid after a while). It didn't quite work out - it was more bright orange than ochre so I wiped it off, leaving it stained the colour of baby pooh!

Seeing the mess I was making, my wife suggested that the first spoon of the year should be something special and why didn't I guild it, as I still had some gold leaf knocking around. So I did.

AN OBSERVATION: due to a shortage of logs and split wood, I have been carving skinny branches lately and I noticed how different these are to carve from wood that has been split out from a large trunk - a lot wetter and somehow more fibrous. Using this type of wood, they certainly need roughing out and then leaving to dry abit.

I also made a butter spreader toady - I'd split a lump of ash that I'd been given a few months ago, before ash dieback hit the news. What would previously have gone on my fire pile now suddenly seems more precious and I'll see if I can't get a couple of spoons out of it too, despite it being fairly seasoned.

Sorry for the poor quality of the picture - I've since enlisted the help of my daughter Chloe and her much nicer camera

The design is one that I replicate a lot - it's not terribly practical but I like the way it looks. It's a little shorter that those I usually make, and therefore a little different in shape. See the one I have in Drew Langsner's 'Spreader Gallery' here:

It's number 66 - Drew is one of my heroes and I was very proud to be the first from the UK in the gallery.

Chloe's photography blog id here:

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